Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Counting the Prison Population

Lindsay Suchow has a article in this morning's Register-Star about the population of the Hudson Correctional Facility and the weighted vote in the Common Council: "Dealing with the loss of prison population." Unfortunately, she makes a big blunder when she says, "The city's Third Ward currently holds the most power of the city's five wards." Not true. The votes of the Fifth Ward aldermen carry the most weight. Here's current breakdown of the votes for a simple majority:

Common Council President (Don Moore)  188
First Ward (Sarah Sterling, Geeta Cheddie)  94 (each)
Second Ward (Wanda Pertilla, Abdus Miah)  184 (each)
Third Ward (Ellen Thurston, Chris Wagoner)  266 (each)
Fourth Ward (Sheila Ramsey, Ohrine Stewart)  94 (each)
Fifth Ward (Bob Donahue, Dick Goetz)  278 (each)    

A simple majority requires 1,011 yes votes.  

Reporting the number of prisoners incarcerated in Hudson, Suchow misses the point: "According to [City Attorney Jack] Connor, 618 people were incarcerated at the Hudson Correctional Facility as per the 2000 U.S. Census. But state Office of Public Information spokesperson Linda Foglia told the Register-Star in August that the facility housed 358 inmates." This isn't a discrepancy. The population of the Hudson Correction Facility decreased by more than 40 percent in the past ten years.

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