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WP: Black Leaders Urge Census to Change How it Counts Inmates


Fergasun

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Washington Post, by Carol Morello

A coalition of African American leaders concerned about minorities being undercounted in the 2010 Census called Wednesday for inmates at federal and state prisons to be tallied in their home communities instead of the towns where they are incarcerated. Marc H. Morial, president of the National Urban League and chairman of a census advisory committee, said the practice now shortchanges communities in money and democratic representation. Census statistics are used to calculate the allocation of more than $478 billion in federal funds and to draw political boundaries. Noting that about 1.2 million of the nation's 40 million African Americans are in prison, Morial said, "What we have in the prison population issue is a built-in undercount."
I watched this on C-SPAN and thought it was a great point. Two things that this article seems to understate:

- It is more than a "concern" that minorities are undercounted. Based on Federal rules on the way census count is done African Americans are undercounted 3%, and included in the population of prison districts rather than where they are from.

- There were a number of other issues aside from inmate counting, which one of the members mentioned, but they did focus on that issue. They also held press conference after meeting with Commerce Secretary Lock.

- It would take a court challenge or change in Federal law to rectify this situation.

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The AP article I nearly excerpted had a really poor quote to Sharpton. Here it is:

"The undercount of blacks in the last count and the overcount of whites by 1 percent is not just a Washington statistic," Sharpton said at a news briefing after the meeting. "It manifests itself in goods and services that cost us." "We want what is ours," he said.
While he may have said this he went out of his way to clearly state that every group deserves an accurate count, yellow, white, brown.
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Fail to see why prison inmates should be counted any differently from any other person who is temporarily in a location which he does not consider "home".

I'd list college students and soldiers as examples. (I think soldiers might be the best example, in that they, also, have no say in where they're assigned. College students do, at least, have some choice.)

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But when they are released from prison, they will go back to where they came from. College students and soldiers are kind've transitional. Additionally, does the prison district represent the prisoners or prison guards more?

1. what is the average Federal or state jail sentence? A census is every 10 years, they are more than likely going to be spending a majority of that time "sleeping" in the district in which the prison is.

2. the average Millitary service or college time is 4 years which would equal less than half the census time span-- much better case there- IMO

3. Stay the **** out of jail. Felons loose certain rights, sorry, wait no I'm not.

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Yea I am sorry, if you live in one spot for more than a year, that is your home until the situation changes. Undercounting of minorities is a problem but I see no problem with prisoners being counted where they are not where they should be if they could only have obeyed the law.

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Do you know why they count them in the prisons? The same reason why most prisons are in rural, low population areas. The more inmates in the prison, the more "residents" the towns have and the more money they get. Its all about business.

The prison inustrial complex is HUGE. Billions and billions of dollars. People have no idea. It's all so shady too. Google UNICOR and read up on it.

But yeah, count the inmates who are going to be released soon in their home district and count the ones who aren't in the prison district. Easy. Now what the time frame should be for the soon to be released inmates I don't know. Six months? A year?

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I'd like to see a total of the amounts of taxes paid by blacks and whites, social (welfare) services rendered to blacks and whites, and public monies spent on blacks and whites, in the judicial system, before having a discussion about the distribution of tax dollars. A cross the board statistics on per capita percentages of the population in prison would be helpful as well.

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Yea I am sorry, if you live in one spot for more than a year, that is your home until the situation changes. Undercounting of minorities is a problem but I see no problem with prisoners being counted where they are not where they should be if they could only have obeyed the law.

So you think military personnel and college students should be counted as residents of the place where they're at, too?

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I'd like to see a total of the amounts of taxes paid by blacks and whites, social (welfare) services rendered to blacks and whites, and public monies spent on blacks and whites, in the judicial system, before having a discussion about the distribution of tax dollars. A cross the board statistics on per capita percentages of the population in prison would be helpful as well.

I can guarantee you that more is spent on whites and its not just because they out number blacks. Look at a white neighborhood, white schools and white public facilities, they're always better than the ones inhabited by minorities. I'm being completely serious, when a neighborhood is white it gets taken care of by the government. Unfortunately, when minorities move in, whites move out. The the white people leave, so do the tax dollars.

None of this is a conspiracy theory, it's the kind of social studies they don't teach you about in public school.

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They certainly have a greater impact on the infrastructure of the place where they actually live.

Perfectly valid argument.

OTOH, does that mean they should vote where they live, too?

'Cause otherwise I see a situation where the soldiers (let's say "soldiers" instead of "soldiers, college students, and any other transient I haven't thought of") are voting in a district where the census says there is no person. And the locals are voting in a district where their vote, effectively, counts double, because there's 10,000 locals and 10,000 soldiers, therefore the district gets 20,000 people's worth of federal money, but only 10,000 people are allowed to vote on how to spend it.

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Perfectly valid argument.

OTOH, does that mean they should vote where they live, too?

'Cause otherwise I see a situation where the soldiers (let's say "soldiers" instead of "soldiers, college students, and any other transient I haven't thought of") are voting in a district where the census says there is no person. And the locals are voting in a district where their vote, effectively, counts double, because there's 10,000 locals and 10,000 soldiers, therefore the district gets 20,000 people's worth of federal money, but only 10,000 people are allowed to vote on how to spend it.

Voting is slightly different in the fact that you must register to vote, and that is completely up to the voter.
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I can guarantee you that more is spent on whites and its not just because they out number blacks. Look at a white neighborhood, white schools and white public facilities, they're always better than the ones inhabited by minorities. I'm being completely serious, when a neighborhood is white it gets taken care of by the government. Unfortunately, when minorities move in, whites move out. The the white people leave, so do the tax dollars.

None of this is a conspiracy theory, it's the kind of social studies they don't teach you about in public school.

Not in St. Petersburg. They just rebuilt all the schools, all the playgrounds, rec centers all equally. They've done a hell of a lot more landscaping in the black communities. But that wasn't my point. The information that I was asking for is not available but I'll be if it were, it wouldn't be surprising if services rendered was greater than taxes collected for minority neighborhoods, so why would a few more that were in prison on the public does count for anything?

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I can guarantee you that more is spent on whites and its not just because they out number blacks. Look at a white neighborhood, white schools and white public facilities, they're always better than the ones inhabited by minorities. I'm being completely serious, when a neighborhood is white it gets taken care of by the government. Unfortunately, when minorities move in, whites move out. The the white people leave, so do the tax dollars.

None of this is a conspiracy theory, it's the kind of social studies they don't teach you about in public school.

usually, local taxes largely fund public education, namely real estate taxes.

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