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.
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.
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.
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.
JDI has been a great organization to work with. They have always been there to assist with training or to answer questions regarding the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). Through our partnership with JDI Oregon has really been able to move forward in addressing the proposed standards.
My name is robert L. Mullins, and I am a Prison Rape Survivor. I have been out of TheSouth Carolina Department of Corrections since October 1, 2010, currently residing in Virginia.
While incarcerated I was beaten and raped by my cellmate in July 2009. JDI was there to help. I saw their ad in a Prison Legal News Magazine I ran across while working as an inmate law clerk at Allendale Correctional Institution right after my ordeal. I wrote them a letter about the incident and they have been in my life ever since with regular support and encouragement. They sent me many resource guides in order for me to seek local professional help and assisited me in speaking out to help initiate change in our "Justice" system by writing letters to Atty Gen. Eric Holder. I am a better person today because of JDI.
Robert L. Mullins