Just Detention International, Inc.

Rating: 4.98 stars   52 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Mental Health, Crime & Law

Location: 3325 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 340 Los Angeles CA 90010 USA

Mission: Just Detention International (JDI) is a health and human rights organization that seeks to end sexual violence in all forms of detention. JDI has three core goals: to hold government officials accountable for prisoner rape; to promote public attitudes that value the health and safety of people behind bars; and to ensure that those who have survived sexual abuse get the help they need.
Programs: JDI is the only organization in the U.S. dedicated to ending sexual abuse in detention. Working with prisoner rape survivors, legislators, and other advocates, JDI helped secure passage of the U.S. Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 and worked to develop related state laws in California and Texas. Since then, JDI has played a key role in the implementation of these laws. JDI provides expert analysis, first-hand survivor accounts, training, and technical assistance to policymakers, corrections officials, and advocates nationwide. JDI works closely with state and county corrections systems to help them implement national standards addressing sexual abuse behind bars, developed under PREA. JDI also mobilizes allied organizations to combat sexual abuse in detention and trains community-based service providers to address the needs of prisoner rape survivors. In particular, JDI works with rape crisis centers, helping them develop partnerships with prisons and jails to ensure that survivors of abuse get the care they need in the aftermath of an assault. In all of its work, JDI ensures that survivors and their experiences play a central role in the development of public policy.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I am proud to support JDI. JDI focuses its efforts on a problem that only exists because we let it happen. JDI has had a key role in creating the standards that would eliminate sexual abuse in all areas of detention if adopted. And it works to ensure that everyone knows that adopting those standards is the only sane choice in a civilized society. JDI also provides critical resources for survivors who consistently let JDI know how important their work is on inmates' behalf. I'm lucky to have the chance to work with them!

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Rating: 5 stars  

JDI is a powerful, thoughtful, and effective organization. It provides leadership and expertise in policy research and advocacy, and its survivor outreach literally saves lives. It is growing internationally and its ambition could not be more noble -- to put an end to sexual abuse in detention.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I joined the Just Detention board over 3 1/2 years ago, and have continually marvelled at how this organization punches so far above its weight, working effectively both nationally and, now, internationally, to stop the sexual abuse of people who are incarcerated or otherwise detained. Domestically, this is an organization that had a critical role in getting the Prison Rape Elimination Act enacted (including by building a diverse coaltion across party lines), and ensuring that the PREA standards are meaningful ones, which are implemented effectively. From policy work, to consulting directly to penal institutions on the front lines, to advocating on behalf of victims of sexual abuse, JDI has been incredibly effective (particularly given its relatively small size), in reducing the risk that people who are in detention suffer life-changing abuse. I am particularly excited about the impact that JDI will have internationally in the years to come. I am proud to serve on JDI's board and hope that others will take the time to learn more about JDI's human rights mission and record of success.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a Board Member for JDI for about 2 years. Prior to that, I worked with them when they came into the prison I was Warden over and helped us develop a protocol to respond to victims of sexual assault. They assisted us in developing the procedures, and then helped with teaching the prison staff the appropriate protocols. They also provided training and information to the inmate population so they would understand what their rights were and what to expect.
The assistance JDI provided the Institution made the environment better for the inmates, but also made the environment better for the staff. They felt much better prepared to deal with these types of situations when they arose.
As a Board Member, I continue to see how effective JDI is in changing lives. Whether it be their advocacy work for those still incarcerated, or making sure that as many inmates as possible get a message of hope during the holidays through their Christmas Card Campaign, they truly are an organization that believes in their mission.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

This is an organization that makes every decision with the thought of helping prisoners recover from sexual assault. Their business decisions are based on what's best for the organization as a whole and for the people they are dedicated to helping. I have never worked with a more dedicated group of individuals endeavoring to change and save lives. In the few short years they have been in existence, they have made the message that a prison sentence doesn't include sexual assault something that the public now understands. I am proud to be a Board member of such a worthy organization.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I came across JDI through the articles written by their Chair and Executive Director for the New York Review of Books. These were engaging, well researched pieces that combined detailed statistical analysis with heart felt testimony from prison rape survivors. As a supporter of prison charities, here in the UK, and someone concerned about sexual assault in custody, I contacted JDI to find out what they knew about the landscape outside of the US. Here they totally exceeded my expectations. We've been communicating and working ever since on discovering ways that work in different countries can impact on one another, exploring best practice and building coalitions - not merely between similar NGOs but across LGBT, religious, health and human rights organisations. What most impresses me, and is evidenced by the comments here, is the compassion with which JDI's staff deal with survivors of prison rape who are otherwise ignored, never heard or not believed. JDI gives a voice to the voiceless. That in itself is worthy of support but the publication of the PREA standards also showed how effective JDI is at getting government to listen to those voices and act.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been involved with a lot of different charitable organizations doing different kinds of work, but I've never found one where my dollar or my hour goes farther than it does with JDI. On a lean budget, with a dedicated, smart, strategic staff, JDI is making a huge difference fighting one of the biggest human rights problems in the U.S. Over 216,600 people are sexually abused in American detention facilities every year, and JDI is forcing the government to do something about it. I think it's reasonable to hope that number may be cut in half in the coming years, or even more--and if it is, it'll be mostly because of JDI's work. It's an extraordinary accomplishment, fighting a problem most organizations won't touch, and one that most people have thought intractable. And it's all the more extraordinary when you consider how much JDI has done with such a small budget, in just a few years.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen JDI change crucial laws. I've seen JDI completely win over a range of unlikely allies in its cause--politicians from both parties, corrections officials who used to deny the problem, etc.--because it's reputation for accuracy and honesty in all its statements is so sterling, because the case it makes is so completely persuasive, and because of the passion and intelligence of its staff. I've also seen the enormous difference JDI has made in the lives of countless survivors of sexual abuse.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The problem of sexual abuse in detention is so enormous, not only in the U.S. but around the world--what JDI needs is just to grow. JDI's executive director told me recently that the organization could triple in size and not miss a beat. Sexual abuse in detention devastates people's lives, and no other organization in the world makes this crisis its focus. JDI needs to increase its capacity, to be able to do more good.

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