E-NEWS - 2010

This Violence Has to Stop: A Year in the Fight Against Prisoner Rape

In 2010, the crisis of prisoner rape received unprecedented national attention. The Bureau of Justice Statistics released two key reports on sexual abuse in detention: one on young people held in juvenile facilities and one on adults in prisons and jails. The Department of Justice held a two-month public comment period on the first-ever national standards addressing prisoner rape. Thanks largely to the work of JDI, powerful articles and editorials appeared in major media outlets, including Associated Press, CNN, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and the Washington Post.

Clearly, the secret is out about the rampant sexual abuse of U.S. detainees. Now it is time to stop it. JDI has been working to do just that.

As JDI's 30th anniversary year draws to a close, we want to celebrate the accomplishments that our supporters have helped make possible in 2010.

    --"This class gave me the courage to speak up." We launched a ground-breaking inmate peer education program, already reaching more than 1,000 inmates. Peer educators present workshops on sexual abuse behind bars, inmates' rights, and how to get help.

    --"We represent a broad array of religious, political, human rights, and civil rights groups united in our dedication to stopping rape in our prisons." We mobilized the Raising the Bar Coalition, to advocate for the U.S. Attorney General's full and swift adoption of strong national standards. The Coalition brings together some 50 organizations from across the political spectrum.

    --"This violence has to stop. I ask you to pass the standards quickly so that others do not have to experience the abuse that I endured." We mobilized thousands of organizations and individuals -- including more than 100 prisoner rape survivors -- to participate in the Department of Justice's public comment period, demonstrating broad and committed support.

We're not finished yet. When the standards are adopted in 2011, the work of ensuring that they are put into practice will begin. Survivors are counting on us to persist in this fight until we have ended prisoner rape, once and for all. Please continue your support by making a year-end donation to JDI today.

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