About Leah Sakala

Leah Sakala is a Policy Analyst at the Prison Policy Initiative. She co-authored Reaching too far, coming up short: How large sentencing enhancement zones miss the mark and she is the editor of our research database. One of her specialties at the Prison Policy Initiative is branding and messaging. She coined the slogan for the campaign against prison-based gerrymandering "No Representation Without Population." Her work can be found on car bumpers and on the title of a law passed in Maryland. She graduated from Smith College in May 2011, and her thesis Doing Time is Money: The Economic Crisis, Criminal Justice Ideology, and Sentencing Reform in Michigan won the prize for best thesis in American Studies and American History.

Census Bureau Prison Miscounts Burden Local Governments


Leah Sakala: Rather than forcing counties and municipalities that house prisons to grapple individually with the distortions caused by flawed population data, it is far more logical for the Census Bureau to count incarcerated people at home in the first place.

Prison-Based Gerrymandering’s Striking Resemblance to Infamous Three-Fifths Clause

prison-based gerrymandering

Leah Sakala: Taking incarcerated people out of redistricting data entirely is ultimately preferable to allowing their representational clout to be handed over to the wrong community.