Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC-02) introduced the End Prison Gerrymandering Act (H.R. 6550), legislation that would require prisoners to “be attributed to the last usual place of residence before incarceration” for purposes of a decennial census.
Starting with the 2030 Census, H.R. 6550 would require decennial headcounts to, “with respect to an individual incarcerated in a State, Federal, county, or municipal correctional facility as of the decennial census date, attribute such individual to such individual’s last usual place of residence before incarceration.”
The bill also would change where prisoners are counted specifically for purposes of apportionment and redistricting of Congressional seats. “If the tabulation of the number of persons in a State” in the decennial “includes an individual incarcerated in a State, Federal, county, or municipal correctional facility who is treated as a resident of the State because the tabulation attributes the individual to the individual’s last usual place of residence before incarceration,” the state would need to “treat the individual’s last usual place of residence in the State before incarceration as the individual’s place of residence for purposes of congressional redistricting.”