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The High Cost of Texas Prison Rape Data

by Edward B. Lyon

A recent request for sexual assault data in Texas prisons since 2013 was estimated to cost $1,132,024.30. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) stated it needs over 61,000 hours to "hand search" more than 260,000 "responsive documents" from 2,000 cases for non-exempt "basic information." This amounts to 130 pages per case.

The Texas Attorney General recommended requesting data from the TDCJ's Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) offices. The Safe Prisons/PREA program charged $551.39 for division level audits.

These basic data tables show that in 2016, TDCJ's police agency, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), "opened 238 sexual assault cases in state-run facilities and another 4 in private prisons." The tables further show a TDCJ-wide total of 26,730 initial investigations in state prisons and 693 in private prisons, with 474 extortion reports in state prisons and 13 in private prisons. The OIG does not usually open a case if an initial investigation does not recommend it.


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