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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Just Detention International, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Crime & Law, Crime Prevention, Mental Health, Sexual Abuse Prevention

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.

Community Stories

74 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Jan Lastocy

Client Served

Rating: 5

Just Detention International gave me a way to tell my story and talk about my rapes. Even though the rapes occurred while I was incarcerated, JDI never treated me like less of a person. Talking about my rapes has been very healing for me, and without JDI, I would not have had that opportunity.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

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Donor

Rating: 5

JDI is a great organization that fights for some of the most powerless people in society. Their dedication to their mission is inspirational. Anyone who really cares about criminal justice reform should support their work. I'm proud to be a donor.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I support JDI because its work to end sexual violence behind bars is deeply important to me. I want to make our prisons safer, and I want to end sexual violence. JDI is the one-of-a kind organization with a mission that encompasses both of these aims -- and, most importantly, that gets results.

I have been fortunate to help JDI as a volunteer for the Words of Hope campaign, which allows people to send holiday messages to incarcerated survivors of rape. That such a simple act can make such a profound difference to people is a powerful lesson. I was also fortunate enough to spend a bit of time with survivors at the card-writing event, and to hear first-hand how JDI had a positive impact on their lives

As a native Angeleno, it makes me proud that JDI calls LA home!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I became familiar with JDI's work through a good friend of mine. Their dedication to helping such an underserved population is admirable.

Every year, I look forward to participating in their annual card writing campaign that reaches hundreds of survivors during the holidays. Being able to extend such a simple gesture to those who have such a deep appreciation for my well wishes means so much, and is only possible because of JDI's commitment to these survivors.

Bravo to JDI for all of their great work!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I once served time and saw lots of sexual abuse. The COs (guards) forced women to have sex with them and it was awful. Sometimes women got something in return, but it was still abuse because the COs controlled everything! Sometimes women went along with it because they were scared the COs would write them up. One woman refused but she got raped anyway. The rest of the world pretends this stuff isn't happening, but it is. Youre not supposed to be abused in prison. The only organization that is fighting against rape in prison is JDI. I wish everyone would support them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I moved to LA in July. At the end of August I heard about JDI and thought that it would be a great place to volunteer at – and it is! JDI fights against abuse of prisoners and it does this extraordinarily well. Everyone at JDI is passionate about helping others. JDI raises awareness of prisoner rape and works with prisons to stop the abuse. They also gather first-hand accounts from prisoners themselves. After spending time with organizations that don’t really function to full capacity, I can tell you that JDI is the exception. The people at JDI not only care about stopping prisoner abuse, they know how to make a real difference. I am very proud to be associated with this organization.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

JDI is a phenomenal organisation. Indeed, I have never encountered a more intrepid and undaunted human rights agency anywhere in the world. JDI believes that prisoners have rights, and that everyone – yes, everyone – should demand that those rights are upheld. But the JDI team doesn’t just talk. They spend a lot of time inside jails, working with prisoners and guards to make jails safe. They don't take no for an answer. That’s part of their magic. They seem to think everything is possible, including ending rape in prison. And they are right, of course. There really are no limits to what we can accomplish if we just commit to it, fearlessly and intelligently. We all have a lot to learn from JDI.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am 11 years old and I have been volunteering with JDI since I was 5 years old. Every year my parents and I write holiday cards to prisoners. JDI rocks! :)

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Having worked with and founded several non-profits, I feel confident that JDI ranks among the best of them. They have a clear mission (ending sexual assault in prison) and have streamlined strategies and commitments to seeing that goal to fruition. They are a rare non-profit that keeps entirely focused on their goal, though it's tempting to spread their work further. They are also unique in being a willing team playing -- they fully understand that they can deepen their work through collaborating with others.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Collaborating with JDI on video production has been an all- around positive experience. Everyone that I have had the pleasure of working with has been thoroughly collaborative, and always open to problem- solving. I look forward to working with everyone at JDI in the future, and have enjoyed helping them do their meaningful work.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have felt privileged to support Just Detention's video production needs as a filmmaker. I have worked with multiple people at this organization, all of whom were professional, concise, thoughtful, and kind. Just Detention is a great organization because it is facilitated by great people. It's the best kind of working relationship because their passion is contagious.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Just Detention International is an evidence-based advocacy group advancing a truly simple proposition: no one should be raped, inmate or civilian. They do terrific work both within facilities and on a policy level, and they recognize that a fundamental cultural shift by the public is required to end prison rape.

1 richard_geelong

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

If the goal of non-profit organizations is to RAISE AWARENESS of issues the mainline media would prefer to ignore, and be an EFFECTIVE HELP for people who those in mainstream society don't want to know, above all to help our community act out LOVE, NOT FEAR AND HATE - if that is what non-profits are there to do, then Just Detention International is the finest organization I know of. I am a professional criminologist with a particular interest in prisons, sexual assault and mental health, and I am full of admiration for the work JDI does.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a Lecturer in Criminology with a particular interest in penal policy. For many years I have been concerned about the issues of rape and sexual abuse in prisons, and distressed by the lack of awareness of and interest shown by many other professionals, the media and the public.

I became aware of the work of JDI (then known as Stop Prison Rape) through a long letter written by David Kaiser and published in the London Review of Books. The letter set out the key issues so succinctly and effectively that I used it as a teaching resource. I also made contact with the organization, and have since become a financial supporter.

In my home country, Australia, we have no equivalent organization to JDI, and as a result we have no equivalent to the Prison Rape Elimination Act, we do not have the network of support groups for prison rape survivors, we do not have reporting mechanisms to even know the rate of sexual assault in our prisons.

By personalizing and sharing the stories of real prisoners, by staying out of (unwinnable) arguments about punitive policies, and instead focusing on our social duty to ensure the basic safety and dignity of those people society incarcerates, JDI has made a positive difference in the lives of countless thousands of the most vulnerable people in the world.

There are many non-profit organizations who do great work in all sorts of fields - from community sports to supporting elite artists -- but my measure of what makes a really great non-profit is that it effectively helps people who no one else wants to know. JDI has no particular religious focus, but as a committed Christian I see its work as exemplifying Christian love in action.

I am proud to support JDI, and I regard them as a model for civic society advocacy and support on this issue.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to J.D.I. through a friend of mine who works for J.D.I.

When I shared my story with the J.D.I. staff, I really came to know they cared about me, simply by their attentiveness, compassion and the way they cared about my feelings and emotions.

Continuing to work with J.D.I., has allowed me to process and work through my pain, to stay on this path of life, as I move along on my journey of healing.

I am thankful and grateful for J.D.I. being there for me.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

JDI is an extraordinarily effective and impressive organization. It shows the rest of us what human rights advocacy is supposed to look like, and what it can achieve. When they say that everyone has equal value, they mean it. By drawing attention to the plight of inmates, they are changing the way this country runs its prisons, making it clear that inmates are people too -- and that rape isn't part of the penalty. This is an organization I will continue to support until sexual abuse in detention is finally a problem of the past. Keep at it, JDI!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

JDI has a wonderful team of people that are committed to helping corrections, all forms of confinement facilities, do the right thing. I am an ex prisoner, not a survivor, however totally believe in what JDI stands for. I know that with their determination rape will one day not be part of the penalty.

Donor

Rating: 5

JDI fulfills its mission with unsurpassed integrity, dedication, and professionalism. Having worked closely with senior staff in the past I can attest to their commitment to the highest quality of standards. This is one non-profit that I can support without reservation. Kudos to JDI!

Audrey24

Donor

Rating: 5

They are wonderful. They give hope to those who are often overlooked. To feel trapped is a horrible feeling, and to be trapped within a trap is a nightmare. I give to this charity because this is what they look to fix, they give relief to those who's voices go unheard.

HappyHart

Donor

Rating: 5

JDI is remarkable in the deep care they put into their work. It's all very human - a great deal of listening and being fully engaged in heart and mind. I'm proud to donate to them and participate in campaigns. I hope to see them grow and I hope to see an end to abuse in prisons.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I met JDI colleagues during meetings Amnesty International UN Office in NY organized on torture prevention and I have been impressed by its work ever since. JDI does a very courageous and important work on an outrage that often people do not want to even recognize it exists. Its work with survivors of rape and other sexual abuse in detention is moving and effective. JDI is an organization that deserves all the support people could provide.