Erica Allen, Letter to the Editor, The Dallas Morning News, January 30, 2005.

After reading about the dramatic increase in reports of rape in Texas prisons, I was appalled, but unfortunately not at all surprised.

I too am convinced that Texas is the prison rape capital of the country. Every day, the national human rights organization Stop Prisoner Rape receives letters and phone calls from Texas prisoners recounting stories of violent sexual assaults in Texas detention facilities.

In fact, 24 percent of all of the survivors of prisoner rape who contact us from across the nation were assaulted while incarcerated in Texas. An alarming number of these incidents occurred in the Alfred B. Hughes and the Barry Telford Units.

News stories like this bring the issue of prisoner rape to the forefront of the public debate and force members of society to take sexual assault behind bars seriously.

It is a sad fact that many people still need to be reminded that rape is always unacceptable. Thank you for publishing this important piece.

Erica Allen, Survivor Outreach associate, Stop Prisoner Rape, Los Angeles, Calif.