Committee Reports

Comments to U.S. Census Bureau regarding the Residence Rule and Residence Situations


In a letter to the U.S. Census Bureau on its Residence Rule and Residence Situations proposal, the Committee on Civil Rights urged the Bureau to change the proposed rule from counting incarcerated people at the facility in which they are housed and instead use their last permanent residence or “usual residence” as defined by the prisoner. With the quadrupling of the prison population over the last three decades, the manner in which this population is counted has huge implications for the accuracy of the census, and of the many decisions, including apportioning congressional and legislative districts, that are based upon the census count. The current method of counting prisoners – who are disproportionally urban, male and African-American or Latino – where their prison and criminal detention facilities are located, often far from their actual residences, is incongruous at best, and erroneous at worst, when incarcerated people are both de jure and de facto excluded from participating in the civic life of these communities.