Jamie Platt, vice chairman of the Capitol Hill Prison Task Force, states that "building a prison within an urban area such as the District is a policy scorned by the Bureau of Prisons, the American Correctional Association and every prison expert one could find" {letters, Jan. 25}.

As executive director of the American Correctional Association, I can state unequivocally that Mr. Platt's assertion is totally false and a misrepresentation of the American Correctional Association's policy regarding prison location planning. The ACA is not opposed to the construction of prison facilities in urban areas provided the necessary security measures and correctional standards are adopted.

As a matter of fact, the ACA supports locating prison facilities in urban areas because of the proximity of hospitals, fire departments and police-reinforcement capabilities. In addition, visitation is facilitated for inmates whose families reside in the community.

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons informed me that the bureau does not oppose prison construction in urban areas. This is demonstrated by the BOP institutions in downtown New York, Atlanta, Chicago, among other large cities, as well as the massive BOP facility currently under construction in downtown Los Angeles.