Abigail N. Falk

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This Comment examines the phenomenon of prison gerrymandering, a practice that involves counting prisoners as residents of the counties where their state correctional facilities are located—rather than in their home communities—for redistricting and representational purposes. This practice of counting inflates the voting power of rural, white districts with large prison complexes and diminishes the voting power of minority communities. Prison gerrymandering has become especially pervasive across southern states while many of the South’s northern counterparts have eradicated this practice through legislative reform. This Comment proposes a solution to stop prison gerrymandering in the South, arguing a strategy to produce a circuit split to prime the Supreme Court to address the constitutionality of prison gerrymandering. The Comment covers a variety of topics that either directly or indirectly contribute to prison gerrymandering, such as the Three-Fifths Compromise, the Census Bureau’s “usual residence rule,” sentencing disparities, felon disenfranchisement, and malapportionment claims.