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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

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.