Thursday, December 22, 2011

State of Politics: Prison Redistricting Deal Struck

According to political reporting wiz Liz Benjamin, Senate Republicans have struck a deal to count more than 46 thousand of the state's roughly 58 thousand prisoners in their last known address, and not in the prison where they are being held.

The original homes of the other 12 thousand prisoners could not be located, so they will be counted where they are incarcerated, Benjamin reports.
Back in 2010, the legislature passed a bill requiring prisoners to be counted in their home neighborhoods for redistricting purposes. Senate Republicans sued arguing the law was unconstitutional, and lost. They did file an appeal to the states highest court, the Court of Appeals, but now appear to have dropped that lawsuit.

As we have talked about extensively on Capital Tonight, upstate prison populations have been utilized in the past by the Senate GOP to carve out districts that are more friendly for their conference. One example has been Senator Little’s district in the North Country, which contains about 12 thousand prisoners.

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