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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

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

JDI has been instrumental in my work as an advocate! I appreciate everything JDI does for professionals in the field but especially for survivors. Thank you JDI!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JDI is an incredible organization! I volunteer each year with them during the holidays, writing cards to inmates. The thank you notes that we get from them are filled with so much hope and gratitude. It really shows how invaluable the work they do is.

Melinda22

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have contributed to this organization shortly after learning about it in the late 1980s. JDI merits that sort of ongoing support - it addresses an important topic and has been a great catalyst for education and change at the local, state, and federal levels. Their vision is broad yet never loses sight of the individual.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm a Licensed Mental Health Counselor working with JDI in the Miami-Dade Correction Facilities for almost a year. I have never worked for a more passionate or dedicated organization. JDI advocates tirelessly for incarcerated victims of sexual violence and helps give them a voice. Too often, individuals who are incarcerated are seen as less deserving because of crimes they have committed and are not treated with the respect that we all deserve as human beings. JDI helps make a huge difference by providing services to a very underserved population and we need more organizations like them. I am proud to be a part of this organization and serve in a small capacity to help meet the needs of these individuals.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is one of the most impressive non-profit organizations in the U.S. I am a longtime executive director of other similar non-profits and I have long admired the brilliant way that JDI is managed as well as the passion and commitment of it's very effective staff. Even though I am often busy, their appeals have convinced me to volunteer on several occasions over the years.

Their website and social media are especially impressive. They handle a very "tabu" subject with the dignity and strong attention that it deserves. Big Kudos for all around excellence.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Wow .. Where do I start . I have worked in this field for over 17 years . A year ago I joined JDI and I provide therapy to inmates in Miami, FL jails . I work with inmates who are victims / survivors of sexual abuse / trauma history at some point in there lives. JDI counseling program is outstanding and needed. Most of the inmates over 81% have experience severe sexual abuse / trauma which has impacted there lives in some way . There sexual abuse history probably has a lot to do with the choices and decisions that lead them to be incarcerated. . The inmates are engaged , cooperative and committed to there therapeutic process. 90% of the clients I see on a weekly basis never received any form of counseling/ therapy to address there trauma . Most people see the inmates as criminals, please don't get me wrong I am not minimizing or dismisses there crimes . After hearing there life stories years of abuse, I see them as survivors who have experienced years of abuse , trauma and neglect . The services offered by JDI gives so many women and men opportunities to address there hurt and pain. So when they are released they might have a better chance in life . They can continue there treatment and seek mental health services. I pray and hope agencies and organizations will be able to continue the services they provide that are so needed. The inmates are thankful and appreciative they have a chance to deal with past trauma. With JDI services and other non profit agencies services in our communities so many people receive help Let's continue to support and discuss the importance of non profit agencies/ organizations . I see everyday how the services offered make a difference in SO many people lives ...

ambahfaiza

Donor

Rating: 5

Prison rape is something that has deeply disturbed me for a long time, ever since I watched the films And Justice for All and Brubaker in college.  I felt sick for days afterwards. The fact that prison rape is so casually accepted worldwide, yet so devastating to its victims, ate away at my peace of mind for years. I couldn’t understand why a crime that can land you in prison stopped being a crime when carried out in prison. I wanted to do something about this terrible injustice, but didn’t know what to do. So the pain just festered inside me. Until one day, researching prison rape, to include tangentially in one of my story lines, I found Just Detention International. I had several reactions. I was amazed and awed, feeling that God had heard my prayers. I felt great relief knowing that there are others, in fact an entire organisation, who believe that prison rape should not be an internationally accepted part of prison life and are fighting to protect vulnerable prisoners. And I felt stupid for not knowing about JDI earlier.

I am so grateful that Just Detention International exists and that it is making progress in helping prisoners live behind bars with dignity and respect and without the cruel and brutal punishment of rape. I am honoured to be able to support JDI.

Donor

Rating: 5

I donate to this group because I agonize sbout the plight of the powerless.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was raped in prison by two different staff members methodically over a year period of time. I was suicidal and hopeless. Through my work as a volunteer with JDI and sitting on their Survivor Council, I found the courage to heal and found my voice in advocacy. I testified before a Joint Senate Committee in a successful effort to change California law, worked on the crafting and implementation of PREA (the Prison Rape Elimination Act), became a PREA peer educator in the first pilot implementation program before the guidelines became mandatory and was honored to be a speaker in a training webinar to share PREA practices with corrections officials. I got to see firsthand how important JDI's work is and how it can and does change lives. They certainly deserve recognition for their tireless efforts.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was introduced to JDI through the writing of Hamilton Nolan on Gawker.com, Hamilton supports prisoner rights and I was intrigued by JDI's simple request for positive and healing thoughts for their clients for a holiday card project.
Upon visiting JDI's web page and reading the incredible relief they brought to their clients I knew that I needed to do more to help this organization.
I am a sexual abuse survivor, unlike JDI's clients I had the luxury of freedom and the comfort of my family and the resources to heal. The act of writing healing notes to the clients of JDI was incredible. It is easy to discount people in prison as some anonymous "bad guy", but what does that attitude serve?? There is no justice done when people are harmed in prison by rape and sexual assault, it harms us all as a people and a society to allow such acts to go on and to not help the victims, no matter what crime led them to be in prison.
I would encourage anyone who is cynical about what JDI's impact is to read just one or two of the client testimonials, I know that involving myself with JDI, even in a very small way was one of the most rewarding things I did all last year.

Zoe G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work for our state coalition of sexual and domestic violence programs and recently began working with the Department of Corrections to implement the PREA standards. JDI has been an invaluable resource for my work, providing in depth advice, support and technical assistance. They've provided a road map for our work locally and generously shared model policy and best practice. I don't know where we'd be without the help of JDI in doing this important work. They've shared so much of their own experience and hard work that and this has made our work here so much better than it would be if we were traveling without a road map. Thank you!

Hector V.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked closely with JDI for the past couple of years and have found their staff to be exceptional professionals who care deeply about ending rape in confinement settings. They are passionate about their work and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The best thing I can say about Just Detention International is they saved the lives of a lot of women at the California institution for Women when they came in to implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act pilot program in 2010. JDI rescued us from many years of sexual abuse. They gave us a voice and the information we needed to protect ourselves. They made prison a lot safer for inmates, at least against sexual violence. I am a survivor of sexual abuse in prison and JDI gave me strength to fight. JDI helps in letting the United States know that the punishment of incarceration does not include sexual abuse.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Just Detention International for a few years now. The work they do is absolutely essential and life-saving, and something which I feel very fortunate to be involved with. The level of commitment and dedication they display to the cause of eliminating the sexual abuse of prisoners is exceptional and I have sustained my involvement with this organization due to their mission as well as the success of their program in helping and healing others. I can't say enough good things about this organization, please look into the amazing work they have done and continue to do.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I found out about Just Detention International when I was researching resources for serving incarcerated survivors of sexual assault. Touched by their compassionate and empowering model, where the voices of survivors of sexual violence in the prison system are at the forefront, I became a regular donor. As a crisis service volunteer myself, I have benefited from JDI's informative webinars on relevant topics. JDI's impact and dedication are clear, and the issue they work on is so important.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

Just Detention International has got to be my favorite human rights group hands down. First: I (as a donor) am made to feel that I am directly responsible for changing one or more individuals lives through even the smallest donation I may make. In JDI newsletters I read about how my contributions help real people, real JDI clients whose lives have been turned around, whose faith and esteem have been restored through sheer force of having been helped, having had someone like JDI help them pick up the pieces and move forward. That is, I'm not just reading about some law that was passed, or how JDI was involved, but I am learning about how clients benefited in very tangible ways. Second: I never feel pressured to contribute some predetermined or standard amount as with many other human rights groups, but whatever I can. And while I don't expect to be thanked each time I do make a contribution, the smallest donation I have made has always been reciprocated with fondest thanks from the program's chief director, Ms.Stannow, not someone just pushing paper at a desk. JDI cares about the people they work for because I have seen the positive change in their clients' lives. JDI, you're awesome.