Philly coalition pushes City Council to end ‘prison gerrymandering’

A man walks in front of City Hall in Philadelphia
A man walks in front of City Hall in Philadelphia, February 12, 2015. The U.S. Democratic Party has chosen Philadelphia as the site of its 2016 national convention to nominate a presidential candidate, the Democratic National Committee said on Thursday. The Democratic convention will be held the week of July 25, 2016. The Republican gathering is scheduled to be held in Cleveland the week before Democrats meet. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS CITYSCAPE)

A coalition of community organizations, neighborhood associations, nonprofits and political groups is calling on Philadelphia’s leaders to end so-called ‘prison gerrymandering’ and engage in robust public dialogue during the drawing of new City Council maps.

Advocates are pushing for inmates at the city’s prison complex in Northeast Philadelphia to be counted as being from where they lived before getting arrested.

Reallocating the jail population is a “major racial equity issue,” said Brittany Smalls, of One Pennsylvania, one of the organizations that has signed onto the effort, which is being led by the non-partisan, good-government Committee of Seventy.

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