Illinois’ HB 3653, a major criminal justice reform package, contains provisions ending prison gerrymandering for state legislative districts. The final language passed both the Senate and House today.

With the COVID-19 infection rate in prisons four times that of the general U.S. population, public health and medical experts are urging prisons to reduce their populations to save lives.

After the 2010 redistricting cycle, the California legislature passed a collection of bills—AB 420 (2011), AB 1986 (2012), AB 2172 (2018), and AB 849 (2019)—that sought to end prison gerrymandering at all levels of government.

Why do bank regulators care about the private prison industry? Most people would probably respond “they don’t,” and that answer would have been correct until a few months ago when the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) proposed a troublesome new rule on bank lending.

In the wake of the recently passed stimulus bill, many Americans are complaining about the paltry direct payments of $600. Without detracting from Congress’s failure to support the millions of people who need help, it is worth pausing to acknowledge one unexpected victory in the bill: It contains no prohibition on stimulus payments for incarcerated people.

Who should be counted for redistricting purposes? Since the 2010 redistricting cycle, numerous events — from the Supreme Court’s decision in Evenwel v. Abbott to President Trump’s efforts to inquire into citizenship status in the 2020 Census — have drawn attention to this important question.

On a given day last year, an estimated55,000 to 62,500 people had spent the previous 15 days in solitary confinement in state and federal prisons, often in cells smaller than a parking space.

Despite a record number of new COVID-19 cases in prisons this month, some state departments of correction are already starting to roll back necessary suspensions of medical co-pays.

Before the pandemic, nine state prison systems and the BOP were operating at 100% capacity or more. These prison systems were holding more people than their facilities were designed to house.

Building momentum against prison gerrymandering

Prison gerrymandering can feel like a complex, political quirk. It does not help that the root of the problem is the Census Bureau’s interpretation of its sometimes-arcane “residence rules”.