National Sexual Assault Conference Starts Today in LA
Today, the 2010 National Sexual Assault Conference opens in Los Angeles. Hosted by the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), this annual event brings advocates from around the country together for training and information sessions addressing sexual violence intervention and prevention. Just Detention International is proud to be a co-sponsor of this year's event.
At the conference, JDI is leading three workshops highlighting the problem of prisoner rape. First, staff from JDI, a men's prison (California Correctional Institution), and two local rape crisis centers (Women's Center High Desert and the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center) will speak of their successful collaboration bringing confidential rape crisis counseling into a large and troubled state prison. This effort, known as Paths to Recovery, has become a nationally acclaimed model to corrections systems that seek to improve services to sexual abuse survivors.
The second workshop will be presented by staff from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), which works with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to create institutional Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) in men's and women's facilities in that state. PCAR will focus on how to collaborate with corrections officials, how a SART works in the detention setting, and the dynamics of prisoner rape.
The last workshop will spotlight the experiences of two of JDI's courageous survivor advocates, Troy Eric Isaac and Frank Mendoza. Troy was abused by an inmate while in juvenile detention and continued to endure repeated sexual violence as an adult in California state prisons. Frank was sexually abused by corrections officials at Los Angeles County Jail. Attendees will be able to hear their powerful first-hand accounts and participate in a panel discussion with them and rape crisis counselors.
Just Detention International is pleased to be part of this unique opportunity to bring the issue of prisoner rape to the forefront of the broader discussion of sexual violence in the U.S. If you are at the conference, please check out our workshops. If not, consider signing up for next year's event!