E-NEWS - 2011

JDI Meets with U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women

In a meeting today with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Rashida Manjoo, we will discuss one of our foremost concerns -- the rampant sexual abuse of women and girls in U.S. detention.

As those of you who follow JDI's work already know, our programs are built around a core belief: everyone has an absolute right to be free from torture, including sexual abuse in detention. And we mean everyone -- regardless of custody status or criminal history.

During her official fact-finding mission to the U.S., which began yesterday, Ms. Manjoo will speak with advocates, government officials, and others. It is significant that she has asked to discuss violence against women in custody -- a widespread but often overlooked aspect of gender-based violence.

During today's meeting, JDI will highlight the need for binding national standards addressing prisoner rape, which currently are under review by the Justice Department (and were released into a public comment period yesterday). We will discuss how independent oversight of prisons and jails is sorely lacking in most U.S. jurisdictions, and how the notorious Prison Litigation Reform Act enables corrections officials to abuse inmates in their charge with impunity. We will also highlight the urgent need for further research on sexual violence against women and girls behind bars, especially the targeting of non-heterosexual and gender non-conforming inmates.

To read JDI's written submission to the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, please click here.

As always, thank you so much for your support. Together, we can end the crisis of sexual abuse in detention.

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