In an item yesterday about the D.C. prison complex at Lorton, the name of the District's associate director for federal and congressional affairs, Luis Burguillo, was misspelled. (Published 11/27/ 90)

The U.S. Census Bureau came out with its preliminary 1990 population total for the District of Columbia a few weeks ago and, as always, the D.C. count didn't include several thousand people who reside in Lorton.

Now, that would seem to be how it ought to work. Except it shouldn't work that way in this case. Or so says the D.C. government.

Those Virginia residents -- 6,220 of them -- are the denizens of the District's prison complex at Lorton. And the Barry administration has tried throughout the year to convince Congress and the Census Bureau that those prisoners are D.C. residents and should be counted as such.

So far, no takers. The Census Bureau's policy has always been to tabulate people where they are. College students, for example, are counted in the state where their campus lies.

And when D.C. Del. Walter E. Fauntroy (D) introduced a bill in August that would have made an exception for the Lorton complex, it went nowhere, said the city's congressional liaison, Luis Burgillo.

Burgillo added that he could "never get a real clear reading" as to why the bill stalled.

Earlier in the year, however, Rep. Stan Parris (R-Va.) and Fairfax County officials had argued that as long as someone else's undesirables were in their midst, Virginia ought to at least get the benefit at census time.

But the District argues passionately for a policy change. The inmates are in Virginia, city officials say, because Congress ordered the prison put there in 1909.

Beyond that, Lorton is run by the District and paid for by the District.

"The state of Virginia has no legal authority over that property and should not gain a windfall because Congress decided to place it in Virginia," Burgillo said. "Basically, it is a piece of D.C. property in exile."

What concerns the District is revenue.

Burgillo estimates the city could lose $6 million without the prisoners because funds in some federal programs are allocated on the basis of population.

The preliminary count pegged the 1990 D.C. population at roughly 575,000 -- down from 638,000 in 1980 -- but the city has challenged that total based on factors unrelated to the Lorton issue.

Frustrated on Capitol Hill, the District is preparing a federal lawsuit that will be filed by the end of the year, Burgillo said.