More than 60,000 Houstonians are living in state prisons and were not counted as part of Houston's population, Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, complained to House Redistricting Chair Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton.The problem is, they're not getting representation in those other counties, either. A report (pdf) from the House Research Organization last fall revealed that:
Had they been counted, Houston would definitely get 25 state representatives - instead of the 24 as proposed under the current redistricting map.
Some Texas counties exclude inmates when establishing county commissioner precincts. Anderson, Bee, Brazos, Coryell, Childress, Concho, Dawson, Grimes, Karnes, Madison, Mitchell, Pecos, Walker, and Wood counties all have excluded inmate populations when establishing county commissioner, justice of the peace, and constable precincts, according to studies in March and June by Prisoners of the Census. In Anderson and Concho counties, excluding inmate populations prevented the creation of precincts that would have consisted entirely of inmates.IMO counties shouldn't get to have it both ways. Counties that exclude inmates from their commissioner precincts should not benefit from those same inmates for representation at the statehouse. Either they're your constituents or they're not.