No citizen who has ever been incarcerated would identify prison as their home.
Incarcerated persons in Michigan should be counted as residents based on where they choose to live and where they will likely return upon release, not where they are temporarily housed. Typically, after incarceration in Michigan Department of Corrections facilities, reentering citizens do not remain in the rural areas where those prisons are located. They return home after their release, to their own communities where they lived prior to their sentences.
Current redistricting practices benefit the predominantly white and rural communities where state prisons are located by giving them greater political power, while taking away the representative power of communities of color, which are disproportionally impacted by the broken criminal justice system and the expansion of the prison industrial complex. Michigan's historic redistricting practice of counting incarcerated persons as residents of their prisons would distort political representation for another decade if new practices are not adopted in the Commission's redistricting plans.
To continue this practice would compound and extend an injustice that never should have been allowed in the first place. Now is the time to make this right.
- Warren C. Evans, Wayne County Executive