Time to Change How the Census Counts Prisoners

Every now and then a news story reminds us that the Census Bureau counts prisoners as residents of the prison where they happen to be housed when the census is taken, a decision that seriously overstates the populations of rural areas with prisons.

In 2006, experts commissioned by the Census Bureau recommended that the agency study whether prison inmates should be counted in 2010 as residents of the mostly urban neighborhoods where they last lived rather than as residents of the mostly rural districts where they are temporarily housed against their will.

That's a change a Republican legislature would never have approved. Next year it could happen. Democrats should make it a priority.

This post addresses the issue and links to three other posts that do, as well.

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    Lifers too? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:34:01 PM EST

    It would seem that lifers should be counted where they will spend the rest of their lives, rather than whatever jurisduction where the last crime happened.