Thursday, September 16, 2021


Hundreds of wealthy Americans back the Biden Build Back Better Act; Roger Stone is served with a warrant on live radio; and family caregivers are in need of assistance.


Virginia gubernatorial candidates debate; former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann indicted for lying to FBI; lawmakers set to question oil industry over climate disinformation; and FDA scientists express skepticism over booster shots.


Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Petition Calls for an End to Prison Gerrymandering in PA


Thursday, July 8, 2021   

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania should get some 2020 Census data this summer, to be used in the redistricting process. But some groups want the state to put an end to what's known as prison gerrymandering

It's the policy of counting people in prison as residents where they're incarcerated, rather than where they'd otherwise be living.

A petition launched on Tuesday asks the panel in charge of redrawing the districts - the Legislative Reapportionment Commission, or LRC - to count the 37-thousand people behind bars based on where they're from.

Robert Saleem Holbrook, executive director of the Abolitionist Law Center, said prison gerrymandering is a racial justice issue.

"Because what you have is prisoners who are primarily from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chester, who are making up the bulk or disproportionate number of the state prison population in Pennsylvania," said Holbrook. "And these rural, white counties benefit from predominantly Black and Brown areas, from them being counted as residents in these prisons in these rural communities."

In a May LRC meeting, PA House Minority Leader Rep. Joanna McClinton - D-Philadelphia - who sits on the five-member panel, called on her colleagues to commit to stopping prison gerrymandering.

Carol Kuniholm, chair of the group Fair Districts PA, said prison gerrymandering goes against state election law, which says individuals in "penal institutions" should not be considered a resident of the institution's election district.

"So, our belief is, if you can't vote in the place you are incarcerated, you shouldn't be counted in the place where you're incarcerated," said Kuniholm. "That you should be counted at your last known address."

Kuniholm said she hopes the LRC addresses prison gerrymandering at its next meeting. The commission has pledged to host public hearings this summer ahead of the mapmaking process.

get more stories like this via email
Oregon's Hispanic population grew 30% from 2010 to 2020. (Gstudio/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hispanic Heritage Month began this week, and will be celebrated through Oct. 15. Oregon has a rapidly growing Hispanic population…

Social Issues

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- As the Biden administration challenges a Texas law restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood for …

Social Issues

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Social Security, the program credited with lifting 15 million older residents in Wyoming and across the U.S. out of poverty…

Arkansas' rental-assistance program has distributed funds to more than 3,200 households in the state. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas has made some changes to its state rent relief program to make it easier to distribute assistance to residents…


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The historic clean-energy bill signed into Illinois law yesterday includes measures from closing coal and natural gas plants by 2…

Indiana ranks 44th out of 50 states for bankruptcy. (Andriy Blokhin/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- A new coalition is forming to push back against predatory lending and urge state lawmakers to take action to protect consumers…

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than 200 high earners have written a letter urging Congress to raise taxes to help support social safety-net programs that …

Health and Wellness

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Limiting women's access to abortion and other reproductive health care can have a devastating impact on state economies. According …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021