Redistricting panel considers where to count state prisoners

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s agenda includes a Democrat-backed resolution that would change the current practice so that state inmates would be counted where they last lived in the state.

The proposal would cover most of the roughly 37,000 state inmates that are scattered among 23 facilities in 19 counties. It would not apply to about 60 state prisoners who had been living in other states when they became incarcerated or to those serving life sentences.

The latest figures from the Corrections Department indicate that by far the most common home county for state prison inmates is Philadelphia, with more than 9,000 prisoners, or about one in four. Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, accounts for more than 2,500. The resolution would not apply to those from other states, but they amount to just over 60 inmates.

Inmates who were homeless before being locked up would be counted where they had most recently regularly stayed or regularly received services.

Inmates are often housed far from their homes, and many of Pennsylvania’s prisons are in rural, mostly white areas.

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At least 1,000 inmates each are from some of the larger Pennsylvania counties — Berks, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery and York.

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