Incarceration impacts political representation by:
- Requiring formerly incarcerated individuals to pay legal financial obligations (LFOs) before being re-enfranchised. This pay-to-vote system is particularly difficult for formerly incarcerated women who face higher rates of unemployment both before and after incarceration than men.
- Prison gerrymandering counts incarcerated individuals as residents of the prison's district rather than their home communities in the decennial census. This impacts both the funding and representation given to both the prison and home communities.
Further research and resources on the topic can be found from allies in the field at: the Vera Institute of Justice, the Prison Policy Initiative, the Sentencing Project, and the following podcast with Michele Goodwin.