PHILADELPHIA, PA – City Council introduced legislation today to address and resolve the prisoner gerrymandering issue in Philadelphia – the problem in which men and women incarcerated in state and county jails are counted for U.S. Census purposes where the jails are located – instead of where the inmates reside at their home addresses.
Today in City Council’s regular Meeting, Council Majority Leader Cherelle L. Parker (9th District), acting on Council President Darrell L. Clarke’s behalf, introduced legislation to correctly apportion over 7,500 prisoners in state and county jails into Philadelphia’s 10 Council districts, according to their last known addresses in Philadelphia.
The legislation will not entail or require Council to change any boundary line for Council districts, which were recently reset – again in accordance with the United States Census.
“During our recent redistricting process, we heard from the public as well as from advocates for persons incarcerated in state and county jails, who originally are from Philadelphia,” said Council President Clarke (5th District). “We heard them, and as we said at the time, we would do the additional work needed to correctly count these individuals, and apportion them into their correct home Council district. That’s what this legislation does.”
The legislation will have a public hearing in Council, at a date to be determined. Once the bill passes, it will go to Mayor Kenney for consideration. Council President Clarke made a point of commending Council staff and Kenney administration officials for working in partnership on this redistricting legislation.