The Fight for Stronger Oversight

JDI has been leading a campaign to fix the broken system of prison audits. And we're starting to see results.

Time and time again, prisons plagued by sexual abuse have received rave reviews on their safety audits. In series of op-eds, JDI Executive Director Lovisa Stannow has highlighted how pitiful assessments put inmates at risk. Last year, we passed a law that puts in place higher prison audit standards — and holds accountable auditors who aren’t up to the job.

Finally, terrible auditors are being decertified for cause. This means that they cannot ever again evaluate a prison or jail’s efforts to protect inmates from sexual abuse. It also means that the good auditors — the ones who care about prisoner safety — can step up to provide the meaningful oversight that is needed.

JDI Survivor Council member Nathan Jones knows first hand why good auditors matter. When Nathan was locked up, he arranged to speak with an auditor about the rampant sexual abuse at his prison. But the meeting was not held somewhere private — even though talking about abuse is often dangerous for prisoners.

Nathan didn’t tell the auditor about the abuse — but he told JDI about that auditor. Accounts like Nathan’s inform our advocacy for better prison oversight. And thanks to our advocacy, the very auditor who failed Nathan has been dropped from the ranks.

Read our Executive Director's op-ed in the Washington Post about the auditor who concluded, inexplicably, that the notorious Metropolitan Detention Center was safe.

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When I was locked up, I was denied the chance to speak openly with someone who had the ability to make my life and the lives of others better. But that’s going to change, and I’m thrilled.”

Nathan Jones, JDI Survivor Council