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Review for Just Detention International, Inc., Los Angeles, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen JDI change crucial laws. I've seen JDI completely win over a range of unlikely allies in its cause--politicians from both parties, corrections officials who used to deny the problem, etc.--because it's reputation for accuracy and honesty in all its statements is so sterling, because the case it makes is so completely persuasive, and because of the passion and intelligence of its staff. I've also seen the enormous difference JDI has made in the lives of countless survivors of sexual abuse.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The problem of sexual abuse in detention is so enormous, not only in the U.S. but around the world--what JDI needs is just to grow. JDI's executive director told me recently that the organization could triple in size and not miss a beat. Sexual abuse in detention devastates people's lives, and no other organization in the world makes this crisis its focus. JDI needs to increase its capacity, to be able to do more good.

Role:  Board Member & I'm the board chair.