Prisons cut black voting power in post-Katrina Louisiana

This on top of the severe electoral consequences of Katrina per se, which
scattered tens of thousands of New Orleans’ voters (and killed a still-unknown
number of others).


How Prisons Imperil Black Voting Power in Post-Katrina Louisiana
Saturday 3 September 2011
by: Zoe Sullivan, New America Media [3] | News Analysis

New Orleans – Angola, the Louisiana State Penitentiary, is one of the most notorious prisons in the United States. Sometimes called “The Farm” because of its plantation-like set-up, it houses almost 5,300 men, of whom 3,900 are serving life sentences, 968 face terms of 40 years or more, and 83 are on death row.

The prison is located 90 minutes north of Baton Rouge in the verdant countryside near the Mississippi River and the tourist town of St. Francisville.

For purposes of redistricting, the penitentiary and the town—whose population is approximately one-third that of the prison—are in the same state senate district. But because inmates can’t vote, they have no say in how the state or parish is governed. Thus, roughly one-eighth of the district’s residents are politically voiceless.

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