ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Prison Policy Initiative and VOCAL-NY released a new report that gives an in-depth look at where people in New York State prisons come from. The report shows that imprisonment rates vary across New York State, with the highest rates in cities like Albany, Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse.
The report shows:
- Every single county, and every Assembly and Senate district, is missing a portion of its population to incarceration in state prison;
- Upstate communities, including some of the least populous counties, have disproportionately high state prison incarceration rates; and
- The worst impacts of mass incarceration are often concentrated in specific neighborhoods that are already systematically under-resourced. For example, more than a quarter of everyone in state prison from Syracuse comes from just 4 of that city’s 32 neighborhoods.
Data included in the report shows the six counties with the highest state prison incarceration rates are upstate: Schenectady, Albany, Monroe (Rochester), Oneida (Utica), and Onondaga (Syracuse). Additionally, data shows that New York City had a state imprisonment rate below the state average, more than five times lower than Rochester, and more than four times lower than Syracuse and Albany.
The data and report are made possible by the state’s 2010 law that requires that people in prison be counted as residents of their hometown rather than in prison when state and local governments redistrict every ten years. In total, nearly half the country now lives in a place that has taken action to address prison gerrymandering, according to the report.