February 24, 2023 -
The Census Bureau has released its first round of corrections for the 2020 population count, and communities in Southern states will benefit thanks to prisoners being added to their populations. Reform advocates say this "prison gerrymandering" distorts democracy and paints a misleading picture of community populations for planning purposes. A growing number of states, including several in the South, are taking action to end it.
December 6, 2021 -
Prisons inflate the political representation of the communities that host them — without any say from prisoners themselves.
June 18, 2021 -
Despite lawsuits instituting reforms, state prisons across the U.S. continue to be places of physical and sexual violence, especially against incarcerated people of color. Conditions got so bad in Alabama's prisons that the federal government recently sued the state for violating the Constitution. Robert T. Chase, a historian of prisons, says they need the same kind of scrutiny now faced by police.
June 17, 2021 -
The Communities Not Prisons coalition has stalled Alabama's plan to work with private prison companies to expand the state prison system, which the U.S. Justice Department has charged with unconstitutional human rights abuses. The victory was won by organizing across geographic, race, and class lines — and by targeting the banks involved.
July 2, 2020 -
As the incarceration rate in urban America falls, it's still climbing in rural communities. Here's why it's rising — and how some academics and activists suggest reversing the trend.
April 20, 2020 -
With the COVID-19 pandemic raging through correctional facilities, many states have ordered the release of nonviolent offenders in local jails or prison inmates at greater risk from the virus. But states in the Deep South have been slow to act. Meanwhile, Louisiana is moving its COVID-19-stricken prisoners to the notorious Angola penitentiary — an hour's drive from a hospital with a ventilator.
November 20, 2019 -
In the U.S. census count set for next year, many states in the South will continue to count prisoners as residents of the district where the prison is located rather than in their home communities — a practice that distorts representative democracy. But efforts are underway in some states to change how prisoners are counted.