2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission
Votes to Not Count Federal Prison Populations in CA

SACRAMENTO, CA—Last night, the 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) voted (9-4-1) to not count federal prison populations in California for redistricting purposes to discourage unfair or padded representation in communities with a facility located in their jurisdiction. The Commission sought last known address information for those in federal custody but was unable to do so due to a shortened redistricting timeline. The Commission is however, for the first time in California history, working to reallocate those in state custody to their last known address. This process is currently being undertaken by the Statewide Database along with reformatting of the recently released ‘legacy’ data by the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This was not an easy decision to make,” stated Commission Chair Linda Akutagawa. The Commission was well intentioned in pursuing the reallocation of those in federal and state custody to their last known address, but time is not on our side. We will continue to pursue this information so the 2030 commission has a mechanism to obtain this information for the next redistricting cycle.”

In an August 18, 2021 weekly population report, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported a total of 96,106 people in its care. (Click here for more information)

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, there are a total 12,254 total people held in California facilities. (Click here for more information)

Every 10 years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, California must redraw the boundaries of its electoral districts so that the state’s population is evenly allocated among the new districts.

In 2008, California voters passed the Voters First Act, authorizing the creation of the independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw new State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization district lines. In 2010, the Voters First Act for Congress gave the Commission the responsibility of drawing new Congressional districts following every census.

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