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Jan Lastocy

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Just Detention International, Inc.
April 29, 2013

I learned of Just Detention International several years ago. As a survivor of prisoner rape, I never knew that such an organization existed. JDI has taught me that I am still a person, I am still important, I will survive ~ and more important, I am not alone! As a member of the Survivor Council, I have had the opportunity to work with other survivors and staff members of JDI to work at getting PREA standards signed and in place. Just Detention International is an organization that I am proud to be associated with. I have never met such caring, wonderful people who truly believe in the cause that they are fighting for.

More feedback

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

MY ROLE:
Client Served

Just Detention International, Inc.
July 19, 2012

I am a survivor of prisoner rape. Before I met Just Detention International and all of their wonderful staff, Lovisa, Linda, Cynthia, Jesse, Chris, Derek, Christine, Nicole, Carolina (and please forgive me for anyone I’ve missed); I believed that no one cared about my feelings, my fears, my emotions, and concerns. But once I found JDI, my life changed. I have learned that what happened to me is not my fault; I have begun to believe it. JDI has helped my husband and I to be able to share our story and to hopefully help other prison rape survivors. Every time I am able to share my story, or talk with someone about it, I feel myself heal more.
While I was incarcerated in a Michigan women’s prison, I was repeatedly raped by a corrections officer. Not just once, not just twice; but several times a week for over 6 months. Due to my fears of repercussions and being held up from going home, I was too afraid to say anything. Instead, I kept quiet. At that point in time, all I wanted to do was get home to my husband and children. So I did what I felt I had to do for my safety, I didn’t tell anyone.
I am one of the fortunate ones. My rapist was actually convicted and sent to prison. And, as much as I despise him and what he did; I don’t believe that even he should be subjected to being raped in prison.
When I first contacted JDI, I was sent a packet of information. The packet contained information about prisoner rape and the Prison Rape Elimination Act. It contained information about services that were available to me. But the most important thing in that packet was a card. It was a hand-written card that told me how important I was; that what happened to me was not my fault; and that I was not alone. That card started me on my road to further recovery.
I have now had the opportunity to write some of those cards myself, as well as Holiday cards that are sent to incarcerated individuals. And to read some of the testimonies from recipients of those cards, is a blessing.
As a member of JDI’s survivor council, I have met other prison rape survivors. We have had the opportunity to share our stories, become friends and bond with each other. The feeling to know that you are not alone is indescribable.
JDI staff members will send you a quick “hello” on Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, etc. It is amazing to know how good just that small little word makes you feel. JDI always goes over and above what you would expect any other organization to do. And knowing that they do it for everyone, is heart-warming.
Since meeting JDI and their staff, I have become a strong advocate for their cause of putting an end to prisoner rape. I have attended Congressional briefings, had articles published in newspapers and magazines trying to spread the word. I have met with elected officials and other people working to put an end to this horrific crime. JDI has helped get the details of this horrific crime out into the public eye and to work to putting and end to this violent crime; and I feel blessed to have been able to find them.

The Great!

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

JDI has allowed me to spread the word that I am a SURVIVOR and not a victim. I'm not treated like a second-class citizen simply because I was a prisoner - to JDI, I'm still a person! JDI has only one goal in mind - to completely and effectively put an end to sexual abuse in all forms of detention.

Ways to make it better...

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

Absolutely nothing!! Just Detention International reaches everyone. They don't discriminate, they simply care.

More feedback

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you find this group?

Internet search for prisoner rape.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

Since meeting JDI and their staff, I have become a strong advocate for their cause of putting an end to prisoner rape. I have attended Congressional briefings, had articles published in newspapers and magazines trying to spread the word. I have met with elected officials and other people working to put an end to this horrific crime. JDI has helped get the details of this horrific crime out into the public eye and to work to putting and end to this violent crime; and I feel blessed to have been able to find them.

MY ROLE:
Client Served & I learned that I have the power to become an advocate for prisoner rape. I have begun to fight this horrific crime and will continue to do anything I can.

Just Detention International, Inc.
April 13, 2011

While incarcerated in a Michigan prison, I was raped by a corrections officer. Not once, not twice, but several times a week for several months. My rapist was an officer at the prison warehouse. I was assaulted behind pallets stacked with flour and sugar, in the walk-in freezer — anywhere he felt confident no one would catch him.

I was desperate to go home to my husband and children, so I didn’t report the abuse. If I did, my rapist said he would write me up and delay my release. The warden had already made clear that she would always believe an officer over an inmate. And if I had to stay longer, he would be able to rape and assault me longer.

So I kept quiet. It was only when another female had the courage to come forward did the incident come to light. My rapist was actually charged and we went through a criminal trial. He dragged it out for several years, but we managed to get a conviction.

I had been in counseling for many years; I was not only dealing with being raped, but the stigma of being "raped prisoner"; and I was also dealing with the guilt of knowing that since I was his first victim, if I only had the courage to speak out, none of the other women would have had to endure the attacks.

Just Detention International has helped me to realize that the rapes were not my fault. I did nothing to cause them. Just because I was a prisoner, I was still a person and I still had rights. JDI helped me to understand that I did nothing to cause what happened to me, and that it was not my fault!

JDI has allowed me the opportunity to tell my story to other survivors of prisoner rape and I have become a strong advocate for them. JDI has helped me to understand that I was only doing what was necessary to survive; and that I can continue to help other prisoners by speaking about what happened to me.

I have learned to not be ashamed of what happened to me. JDI has taught me that I did not deserve to be raped; and it was the fault of my rapist and the prison system - not me.

The Great!

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

JDI has allowed me to spread the word that I am a SURVIVOR and not a victim. I'm not treated like a second-class citizen simply because I was a prisoner - to JDI, I'm still a person! JDI has only one goal in mind - to completely and effectively put an end to sexual abuse in all forms of detention.

Ways to make it better...

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

Absolutely none. JDI does a wonderful job and they reach people all over the world.

More feedback

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

Doing an internet search for prisoner rape. I was looking for a support group of some time, and my search led me to a group called Stop Prisoner Rape (now called Just Detention International).

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

JDI has encouraged me to speak out about what happened to me, and they have taught me that I can teach others and help them realize that they too are survivors and not victims. Just because we suffered being raped while we were incarcerated doesn't change that. We are SURVIVORS!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

MY ROLE:
Client Served & I was able to talk with JDI and tell them my story. They put me in touch with different organizations that could help me, but more importantly, they made me realize it was not my fault.

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