skip to main content

Sunday, June 4, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

A Wisconsin group criticizes two of its members of Congress, a new report says the Phoenix area cannot meet its groundwater demands, and Nevada's sporting community sends its priorities to the governor.

play newscast audioPlay

The Senate aims to get the debt limit spending bill to President Biden's desk quickly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a campaign stop in Iowa, and a new survey finds most straight adults support LGBTQ+ rights.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

Prison Gerrymandering Could Dilute Idahoans' Representation

play audio
Play

Thursday, October 28, 2021   

BOISE, Idaho -- As Idaho redraws the lines for its voting districts, the state's prison population could skew representation toward the places where people are incarcerated.

Lauren Bramwell, policy strategist for the ACLU of Idaho, said the practice is known as prison gerrymandering, where the state counts incarcerated people as residing at their place of confinement rather than their home address.

Bramwell noted Idaho's 23rd district east of Boise, represented by two representatives and one senator, has a large prison population.

"Other than District 23, every other district in Idaho is a loser because of prison gerrymandering," Bramwell asserted. "Their representational interests are diluted as a result of prison gerrymandering. So this isn't just an issue about representational interests of people who are incarcerated; this is a statewide issue."

Idaho has about 8,000 people in prison. Most states draw districts as Idaho does. However, eleven states, including Washington, have prohibited prison gerrymandering, counting incarcerated people according to the communities they come from.

Bramwell and the ACLU of Idaho believe it would be possible for the state's redistricting commission to change it.

"They can work with Idaho Department of Corrections," Bramwell suggested. "They can get the pre-incarceration data for all the folks who are incarcerated, and they can work with the Census Bureau, re-plot those individuals to their home addresses, and then we fix the issue of prison gerrymandering."

However, Bramwell noted one roadblock to this solution could be the Department of Corrections does not have the necessary data. She added the issue will be handed to state lawmakers soon.

"If we don't see the fix that we're asking for through the redistricting commission this go-around, then it's really working with the Idaho state Legislature to encourage them to have a legislative fix in time for 2030," Bramwell explained.


get more stories like this via email
Almost all departments in Connecticut schools saw shortages in 2022, following a long-standing national trend. A 2022 American Federation of Teachers report found before the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 300,000 teachers were leaving the profession each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

As the school year ends, Connecticut's teacher shortage seems to have only worsened. In March, school districts across the state reported having 2,60…


Social Issues

play sound

A Muslim rights group is taking the Kent County Sheriff's Office to court for forcing a Michigan woman to remove her hijab for a booking photo…

Social Issues

play sound

A rally was held in Salem Thursday to urge passage of a bill to provide food assistance to Oregonians regardless of their immigration status…


With the debt-ceiling debate winding down, Congress faces future budget battles, including the Farm Bill reauthorization this fall. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

This week's debt ceiling deal saw federal policymakers compromise on budget-related matters, but a new awareness campaign from a Wisconsin grassroots …

Environment

play sound

Offshore wind in New York and New Jersey is becoming a large contributor to job growth. New York's offshore wind investments are slated to create …

Sarah Van Loon, Midwest regional director for the American Jewish Committee, said it is incumbent upon all of us to teach children about the Holocaust. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Hoosiers could play a pivotal role in pushing back against a surge of hate and violence against Jews in America. Nearly two-thirds of all …

Environment

play sound

The Nevada hunting and fishing community is sharing its top 10 conservation priorities for 2023 with Gov. Joe Lombardo's office, as they seek to …

Environment

play sound

In Yellowstone National Park, 30,000 acres are protected from mining by Congressional order, but there is a sliver left unprotected, and a Montana …

 

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