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Scott Howard-Smith

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1 reviews

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

Rating: 5 stars  

While incarcerated, I sustained repeated sexual assaults via forced prostitution at the hands of prison gang members for over one year. I sought assistance from over twenty prisoner-rights groups throughout the country. None of them responded to me. I then saw an advertisement for JDI and wrote a letter, believing in my heart it was a wasted postage stamp. I was on the brink of suicide when a response from JDI was delivered. The response was quick and provided me with valuable resources, a healing guide, and more importantly, sincere words of encouragement. They were the only organization to offer a hand of hope when honestly I had no one. During my ordeal, for well over a year after initial contact, JDI stayed in touch with me. Even after my release, they were there for me to ensure that I found a therapist to work with in the city where I was living. The staff is sincere in its dedication to eliminate sexual abuse in detention facilities of all types, all over the world. They may never know that I had already planned my suicide, gathered the necessary tools, and made arrangements to hang myself. JDI's letter showed up only 3 days prior to the date I had selected to end my life and it gave me the hope necessary to rebuild my desire to live.

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

They gave me the ability to love myself again and to realize that I am a SURVIVOR and not a victim. My life today, only 3 years after the last assault, is beautiful. Had it not been for that initial letter and their continuous follow-up with me, I would not have made it to this day. I have personally witnessed the fact that all survivors who contact their office are treated in the exact same way ... with courtesy, sincerity, and a true desire to eradicate sexual abuse in detention environments.

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

I cannot imagine changing anything about JDI. It is a great organization.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?


How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?


How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

An advertisement in Prison Legal News.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

My desire to live. My desire to love again. My desire to trust again. My willingness to accept that not all people want to hurt me. That compassion does exist in this world and that people do actually care about me. When I was a prisoner, staff treated me badly. JDI helped me to understand that even when a prisoner, my life was worthy and valuable.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Client Served & I now work closely with JDI as an activist and advocate for those who suffer the same abuses each day in prisons throughout the world.