E-NEWS - 2014

New JDI video to reach thousands of prisoners

During her incarceration, Cindy has been sexually assaulted almost too many times to count. Sadly, she wasn’t the only inmate being targeted. Her facility, in California, was an utter nightmare — a place where staff and inmates preyed on the most vulnerable prisoners with impunity.

Cindy knew that this rampant abuse was preventable. In a letter to JDI, she said that a major part of the problem was the lack of inmate education: “With all that goes on here that is touted as ‘normal,’ how can any of these women learn what healthy physical boundaries are — let alone how to assert them?”

Cindy’s words echo what JDI hears from many inmates. Yet it’s rare for prisons and jails to have inmate education programs addressing sexual abuse. That’s about to change.

This week, JDI and the National PREA Resource Center launched a groundbreaking inmate education video for detention facilities. The video, called PREA: What You Need to Know, covers inmates’ basic right to be free from sexual abuse and how to get help if it happens. It also covers what corrections agencies are required to do — based on the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) national standards — to protect detainees. It features prison and jail officials, JDI advocates, and former inmates — including members of JDI’s Survivor Council. Many corrections officials already have told JDI that they plan to make the video the core part of their inmate education program.

The launch of this video is a huge step toward ensuring the safety and dignity of inmates. And it happened because of the courage of survivors, like Cindy — and the commitment of our supporters, like you.

P.S. The inmate education video is not the only new resource from JDI. Recently, JDI published Hope Behind Bars, the first-ever guide for rape crisis counselors working with incarcerated survivors nationwide. Check it out — http://bit.ly/1cqtyOJ.

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