ACLU of Texas Applauds Passage of Prison Rape Elimination Bill

Affiliate: ACLU of Texas
May 22, 2007 12:00 am

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AUSTIN, TX – The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas cheers the passage of House Bill 1944, a measure that seeks to eliminate sexual assault in Texas Prisons, which cleared the Texas Senate yesterday. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), also garnered support from the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA), Stop Prison Rape, and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

“Sexual violence in Texas is off the charts and represents one of the most egregious human rights violations in our state today,” said Nicole Porter, Director of the ACLU of Texas’s Prison and Jail Accountability Project. “We are very encouraged that Texas lawmakers recognized that these abuses also occur in adult correctional facilities and deserve attention.”

HB 1944 funds a sexual assault ombudsperson to increase independence in prison sexual assault investigations and standardizes, coordinates and oversees administrative responses to sexual assault allegations.

During 2005, of the more than 1,400 sexual assault allegations reported by states, over 500 or 36 percent were in Texas, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics.

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