Governor Lamont Signs Legislation Abolishing Prison Gerrymandering
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has signed legislation that abolishes a state law requiring inmates to be counted as residents of the municipalities in which they are incarcerated when government officials are determining the size and boundaries of state legislative districts and municipal voting districts, a practice often referred to as prison gerrymandering.
Instead, the legislation the governor signed today enacts a new law requiring inmates to be counted for purposes of redistricting using the address where they most recently lived immediately prior to their incarceration.
Counting inmates as residents of the towns where they are incarcerated erroneously inflates population data for those municipalities, while decreasing the population of other municipalities and having a negative impact on their legislative and municipal voting districts.
Governor Lamont said today’s signing reflects years of work from many advocates, and fulfills a promise he made when seeking office to correct this longstanding problem.
“This legislation corrects an injustice that for many decades has erroneously counted people as living in towns where they don’t reside,” Governor Lamont said. “Quite frankly, that practice was an artificial relic designed to discount, disvalue, and disenfranchise the voices and votes of people of color, whom the criminal justice system has repeatedly failed. This law that I signed today makes it clear – nobody loses their residence because they have been incarcerated.”
The legislation is Public Act 21-13. It goes into effect immediately.