I think this is a worthwhile charity (5 star rating) for anyone concerned with the treatment of prisoners. No prisoner should have to deal with sexual abuse because he/she is in prison. It is our countrie's shame that we lock up more people than any other country in the world! No prisoner should not have to submit to rape as well as imprisonment.
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.
JDI is one of the few organizations that works tirelessly to help stop the scourge of prison rape. They are a generous and compassionate group of people who know and care about the people they are working to save.
In more than two decades of work as a human rights advocate and scholar I have never encountered an organization that can match JDI in sheer courage, intelligence, creativity, and effectiveness. Virtually the only organization confronting this country’s shameful – and preventable – epidemic of sexual violence in detention, JDI is unique in that it works to develop complex legislation and stimulate real policy change at the federal, state and local levels, while at the same time assisting and empowering individual survivors of sexual violence who have nobody else to turn to. In the face of public apathy and official intransigence, it has already brought about real change in the lives of one of this country’s most neglected communities. I have no doubt that it will continue its remarkable and critically important work until the scourge of prisoner rape is finally ended.
I am a mental health counseling student interested in counseling inmates. I am also related to an individual who was repeatedly molested and raped in prison by a "guard." My relative has been permanently scarred by it, and, we, as her family also hurt. Not surprisingly, the offender had molested numerous others only nobody cared enough to remove this individual from the correctional system. My relative was released many years ago. Were she in prison today, I feel certain JDI would do all it could to bring the guard-offender to justice. Because it's important for me to get involved in preventing prison rape, I can't be silent, even all these years later. The opportunity to make a small gift from time to time lets me feel I'm making a difference in the lives of people who like my relative, were serving a sentence, not bargaining on being raped. In my view, I have as much a responsibility in preventing prison rape as I would have in preventing rape on "the outside." JDI's newsletters have helped me to cope with the pain I have for my relative, and for those countless others who who suffer the crippling trauma of rape because, on its own, our penal system lacks what it takes to bring prison rape to an end. JDI keeps me engaged by allowing me to take part in actions toward ending prison rape, and informs me about the lives of inmates who have been impacted by their hard work. I hope others will see the importance of JDI's role in ending prison rape, and will support their cause in justice. Prison rape need not be a fact of prison life.
I do not now recall when I became fully aware of the rampant sexual abuse and human rights violations that are occurring daily in the jails, prisons, and detention centers of the United States. Perhaps it was when I became a father and realized, to my horror, that my son or daughter could make a mistake and could become a victim of such injustice. Through the efforts of JDI, I found a collective voice that demanded an end to the mistreatment of those behind bars and offered hope to the survivors of sexual abuse. I vowed to support JDI's campaign and to speak out against offensive references to prison rape in the media and in public and private forums. And I will continue to support JDI until this shameful perversion of justice comes to an end.
I am a forensic psychiatrist, and one area of my expert testimony in court is sexual abuse of prisoners. A big problem for those who would end sexual abuse in prison is that its occurrence, though widespread, is generally secret, unknown to the public. Sexual abuse often goes unreported because the victim fears retaliation and is overwhelmed by shame. Until recently, the perpetrator, for example prison guards who rape and sexually abuse women prisoners, did not need to fear being exposed and punished. Just Detention International has worked relentlessly to reverse that shameful reality. The nonprofit has shined a public light on the dreadful sexual abuse that occurs on a daily basis in our jails, prisons and immigration lock-ups. JDI has led the movement, that by now includes other human rights groups, to support the survivors of sexual abuse behind bars and to change correctional practices that make sexual abuse possible. JDI has encouraged survivors to tell their stories, to participate in litigation to halt prison sexual abuse, and to campaign for legislation to protect prisoners from sexual abuse. JDI led the campaign to pass federal legislation, the Prison Rape Elimination Act, and then to demand that Attorney General Holder approve the Prison Rape Elimination Commission's standards for "zero tolerance" jail and prison management. When I testify in related litigation, I see the effects of JDI's work in the way survivors of prison sexual abuse transcend the shame and courageously stand up (against the omnipresent threat of retaliation) and say it was wrong and should not be permitted to happen again to others. The social justice work of JDI makes my work as a forensic psychiatrist possible - they give survivors the courage and support to stand up and speak out. JDI has had a huge impact on the way we understand sexual abuse behind bars, the amount of attention we give the problem, and the ways we work together to end this horrible injustice.
I support Just Detention International because they are doing what no group I know of does: monitor conditions in prisons and advocate for prisoners. We have this awful "secret" in our country that rape and abuse is widespread in prison. JDI is helping to change that, and it is inspiring prisoners and citizens all over the world with its work. Keep trucking JDI.
Of all the social justice nonprofits I donate to, JDI is the one I receive the greatest gratifcation for doing so. It addresses a need not all of us wish to contemplate--that rape is not part of the punishment--it is very effective in doing so, and it's uncorruptible. These good people really work hard and honestly, and are thoroughly transparent. Their Executive Director, Lovisa Stannow, must be among the most committed individuals in the entire social justice spectrum. I truly wish JDI would win the Nobel Prize. They certainly deserve it, and they deserve our donations and if possible our time.
As a policy advocate for transgender people, I have been incredibly impressed with JDI's commitment to include LGBT people, people with intersex conditions, and other vulnerable populations in everything that they do. I have also been impressed with their fusion of deep policy expertise with supporting and lifting up the voices and stories of survivors. Their work has provided connection and support to thousands of individuals and made an enormous difference in policy efforts to prevent abuse in confinement. They make critical contributions to every coalition effort of which they are a part.
My husband and I are proud monthly donors to Just Detention International for so many reasons. Fighting for the rights of imprisoned women and men is cruical & often misunderstood work. JDI gives these victims a voice and the power to help affect real change. I have been profoundly moved by their tireless efforts to help others understand the devastating effects of prisoner assault. They empower the victims of this type of violence not only survive but to thrive. I could not be more proud of the work that JDI does every day on behalf of victims and their families. We are honored to donate to JDI.
This is a great organization that serves a group of people that are often ignored, marginalized, and discarded in our society. There is an apocryphal quote by Dostoyevsky that says, "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons." If that is true, America is in terrible shape, but with the work of JDI, that is hopefully starting to change, bit by bit. By working to make prisons more humane, they ultimately working to make our society more humane.
My wife is a survivor of prisoner rape. Even though we had been married for almost 20 years at the time she was raped, because of her fears of retaliation and punishment, she didn't dare say anything. Jan served 18 months in Michigan during which time she was repeatedly raped. Not once, not twice, but several times a week for over 6 months. But she was too afraid to say anything. Not even to me - no one. When it finally became known, she testified at a criminal trial and her rapist was convicted and he was sent to prison. One day Jan was doing an internet search on prisoner rape, to see if she could find anything to help her, and she located an organization called Stop Prisoner Rape (now called Just Detention International). She called them and after talking to them, she received a packet of information. It contained so much info - where she could go for counseling, different types of support, etc. And there was a note included. I was totally amazed that there was anything like JDI out there. I know I was even more shocked that JDI took phone calls from someone they didn't know and would talk to her and try to help. Whether she was looking for an answer to something, could she find something, etc. She was on the road to recovery, stronger than ever, and it was because she was drawing on the strength she received from JDI. JDI has used our story (due to the fact that we have been married for so long, we are kind of unusual), we share our story, and worked at helping get PREA signed and doing whatever we could to spread the word about prisoner rape. JDI has given us both the platform to do this. Jan has become a very strong advocate for prisoner rape, and I am proud of her; but I truly believe that she would not be as strong an advocate if it were not for JDI. Everyone at JDI are completely wonderful, understanding, caring and loving people; and I thank them everyday for the fine work they do.
I was abused while in prison and these people were very helpful in trying to expose the predator after I was released. I was surprised at how dedicated and genuinely helpful and professional the people at Just Detention were and how good they made me feel about not blaming myself for what happened. They even followed up and wrote to the warden and tried to get those responsible to be held accountable for what they did. They made me realize that I wasn't the only one who this type of thing happened to and it wasn't part of my punishment. I applaud their work and wish I could do more to help THEM now that I am free.
Not only is jDI a fierce advocate for abused prisoners and a considerable force in stopping the atrocities of sexual abuse in prison, JDI staff and directors are compassionate and genuine when dealing with survivors of abuse (something I've seen in person). It is rare to find such a combination of traits and skills in one small organization. They are doing outstanding and essential work.
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 was forced by a police officer to perform sexual acts with another inmate. I was illegaly detained without a cause and also no drugs were found on me nor was I doing anything illegal. Nobody wanted to proceed to charge this officer of the law with any charges. Untill the Philadelphia inquire found out about my story and dug deep into L&I and found all kinds of errors that were made and even found a witness to come forward to tell what this
police officer did to me. Well it made the front page news and they could not sweep it under the rug no more! The police officer was then prosicuted and then fired for his actions. He appealed it and lost. I fought for years and it payed off! I was then contacted by just detention and they helped me through the hurdles by supporting me and showing me that I should be proud of who I am and I met others who were abused by the justice center. I am so grateful for all the wonderful things Just Detention and Stop Prisoner Rape has done for me and all the others! They are the voice that we need and love. Without them I wouldn't be the strong woman I became. Thank you for helping me obtain my confidence back and showing me the way.
Really glad to hear from you. It has been quit a while since we communicated. Of coarse I will add to the accolades. first I would like to say a personal thank you to you and your team. So THANK YOU !
I was raped. due to an ongoing civil matter I am unable to give allot of details. but what I can say is this;
My name is Michael Joseph Booth.
I was housed in a particular CA. prison.
I am an openly gay man.
I was raped.
The emotional and spiritual defeat that I experienced afterwards was to much for me. I had a complete mental brake down. As I slowly started to regain an idea of reality I made contact with Christine at J.D.I. She held my hand thru the mail. At some point she put me in contact with a S.A.R.T. representative. I am now a very strong willed physically powerful man. It is my opinion that this complete rebuild of the person that is Michael Booth would not have happened if were not for Christine's belief in me. The emotional and spiritual support that I was given, gave me strength. Even now almost two years later J.D.I. and I are still in contact.
For those of you that read this that may be in the shoes that wore two years ago. Know this, Christine and Derek and the rest of J.D.I. will believe you when no one else will, and that is the most powerful support that people like me need.
There were many other things that they helped me with such as very good advice. some other little thing as well. The truth is that all would have came in its own time. The belief in me only came by way of a very few, and the first was Christine.
MICHAEL JOSEPH BOOTH
The value of the PREA program to the prison population is more than obvious. What needs to be acknowledged is how fantastic, positive, professional, and dedicated Ms. Linda McFarlane and Ms. Christine Kregg were during our work. The made the process of bringing the program to CIW uncomplicated and a pleasure. They were knowlegable about the subject matter. Both were available to answer any questions. They were also helpful throughout the program development process. Ms. McFarlane and Ms. Kregg defintely would get credit for success of the PREA program at CIW.
JDI is an non-profit organization who's work in the area of sexual violence in prisons is invaluable. Oregon Department of Corrections has been blessed with the opportunity to work with Lovisa Stannow and Linda McFarlane . The knowledge shared with our staff and the inmate population helped us develop a Prison Rape Elimination Act PREA policy. We hope to work with JDI for many years to come as ODOC implements the PREA Standards.