• Catherine Caroline Williams Intern (She/her/hers)

    Catherine Caroline Williams is an intern at JDI-SA. She provides support to the JDI-SA training, communication and advocacy programs. She volunteers to address the needs of LGBTIQ+ communities and the people with disabilities with the Gender Equity Office (GEO) at the University of the Witwatersrand. Previously, she worked as a social researcher for Social Survey Africa and as an Assistant Educator with the South African Department of Basic Education (DBE). Caroline holds a BA in Politics and International Relations and is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB).

  • Christian Vien Senior Operations Officer (He/him/his)

    Christian Vien is a Senior Operations Officer at JDI. He provides research and administrative assistance to JDI’s training and technical assistance programs for corrections agencies nationwide. With a background in visual art, Christian also helps develop materials for JDI’s domestic work. Prior to joining JDI, he worked as a case manager and as a freelance artist working to fundraise for civil rights organizations and youth sports programs in the Bay Area. Christian is bilingual in Vietnamese and English.

  • Cynthia Totten Deputy Executive Director (She/her/hers)

    Cynthia Totten, Esq, is one of JDI’s Deputy Executive Directors, based in its Washington, D.C., office. Cynthia leads JDI’s national training and technical assistance  program, supporting the work  of state and tribal sexual assault coalitions, victim advocates, corrections officials, and funding administrators to ensure that incarcerated survivors have access to crisis services. Additionally, she works with corrections agencies on adopting policies that keep prisoners safe from sexual abuse. A lawyer with nearly two decades of experience in human and civil rights work, Cynthia also advocates to bring basic international human rights standards into U.S. prisons and jails, and has contributed to JDI’s federal policy and international programs.

  • Doreen Gaura Senior Program Officer (She/her/hers)

    Doreen Gaura is a Senior Program Officer at JDI-South Africa. She trains corrections officers and other stakeholders; assists in the coordination of a civil society network to uphold detainee rights; conducts research and advocacy; coordinates JDI-SA’s communications work; and supports survivors of sexual violence in detention. Prior to joining JDI-SA, Doreen was involved in advocacy promoting the rights of children, women, and LGBTI people with various NGOs in South Africa and Zimbabwe. She is a widely published writer and blogger who has written extensively on human rights issues, especially related to race, gender, sexuality, culture, and identity.

  • Edward Cervantes Senior Program Officer (He/him/his)

    Edward Cervantes is a Senior Program Officer at JDI. As a member of JDI’s domestic program and survivor outreach teams, Edward responds to letters and answers crisis calls from incarcerated survivors of sexual abuse. He provides training and technical assistance to departments of corrections as well as to rape crisis centers and he facilitates art and mindfulness workshops with incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated survivors

  • Erica Bilderbeck Senior Program Officer (She/her/ella)

    Erica Bilderbeck, MA is a Senior Program Officer at JDI. A mental health professional and trained Mindful Self-Compassion teacher, Erica provides outreach and direct services to incarcerated survivors of sexual abuse. As a member of JDI’s Domestic Programs team, Erica coaches and offers technical assistance to advocates and corrections staff on preventing and responding to sexual abuse in detention. Prior to joining JDI, Erica ran a wellness consultancy focused on mental health and facilitated mindfulness groups across Southern California. Erica is bilingual in Spanish and English and offers services to survivors in both languages.

  • Elizabeth Endara Policy and Communications Officer (She/her/hers)

    Elizabeth Endara is JDI’s Policy and Communications Officer. In this role, she supports and implements JDI’s policy goals and communications projects by writing and editing for JDI’s website, print publications, and social media platforms. She holds an MA in International Development from Columbia University and is a trained sexual assault and violence intervention advocate.

  • Hortencia Sanchez Communication & Development Associate (She/her/ella)

    Hortencia Sanchez is the JDI’s Communication and Development Associate. In this role, Hortencia helps maintain our database, coordinate events and campaigns, and promote the organization’s work across a range of platforms. Hortencia has a Bachelor’s degree in literature and certification in digital marketing. Prior to joining JDI, Hortencia served as the Immigration & Citizenship Manager for La Colaborativa in Massachusetts, leading impact campaigns, forming strategic community coalitions, and managing immigration cases. She also volunteered with Latino Outdoors-Boston to promote outdoor activities for underserved communities. Hortencia is bilingual in Spanish and English

  • Jamila Cervantes Senior Program Officer (They/them/theirs)

    Jamila Cervantes, MPH, is a Senior Program Officer at JDI. In this role, Jamila answers crisis calls and written correspondence from incarcerated survivors of sexual abuse. They also support JDI’s wellness programs inside detention facilities. Prior to joining the JDI team, Jamila led multiple food security programs across Los Angeles County and developed curriculum for youth. Jamila is bilingual in Spanish and English.

  • Jesse Lerner-Kinglake Communications Director (He/him/his)

    Jesse Lerner-Kinglake, MA, is JDI’s Communications Director. Jesse coordinates JDI’s print and online publications and serves as its primary media contact. He has extensive experience managing communications projects for non-governmental organizations in the U.S and the U.K. Prior to joining JDI, he served as Communications Manager for the International Rescue Committee UK. Jesse is a trained rape crisis counselor.

  • Jessica Serrano Seipel Senior Program Director (She/her/hers)

    Jessica Serrano Seipel (she/her), MPH, is a Senior Program Director at JDI. As part of the domestic programs team, Jessica provides training, technical assistance, and coaching to rape crisis centers and corrections agencies to ensure incarcerated survivors get the help they need. Before joining JDI, she worked as an advocate and educator at rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs, and sexual health agencies across California. She is a trained rape crisis counselor and a certified PREA auditor.

  • Johanna Mills Program Associate (She/her/hers)

    Johanna Mills is a Program Associate at JDI. In this role, Johanna provides administrative support to JDI’s domestic program and survivor outreach teams. She also helps give information, referrals, and support to incarcerated survivors and their loved ones. As a longtime member of JDI’s Survivor Council, Johanna has been at the forefront of the fight to ensure the dignity of incarcerated people. While she was incarcerated, Johanna worked closely with JDI on pushing for many key initiatives, including the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Johanna was released from prison in 2019.

  • Julie Abbate National Advocacy Director

    Julie Abbate is JDI’s National Advocacy Director, based in its Washington, D.C. office. She leads JDI’s federal and state policy work, advocating for government action to address sexual abuse behind bars. Julie has spent most of her 25-year legal career fighting for prisoners’ rights. She comes to JDI after 15 years at the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she focused on combating sexual abuse in women’s prisons. Julie was also a member of the Attorney General’s PREA Working Group, which drafted the national Prison Rape Elimination Act standards. She is a certified PREA auditor.

  • Kris Mady Program Director (He/him/his & They/them/theirs)

    Kris Mady is a Program Director at JDI. As part of the domestic programs team, Kris helps bring together corrections agencies and community rape crisis centers, ensuring that incarcerated survivors can get vital services to help them heal. Kris also supports JDI’s groundbreaking wellness programs inside prisons and jails, and responds to letters and crisis calls from incarcerated survivors. Previously, Kris worked at a rape crisis center providing services to survivors via hotline, hospital and legal accompaniment, and support groups.

  • Kylie Wright Program Associate (She/her/hers & They/them/theirs)

    Kylie Wright is a Program Associate at JDI. In this role, Kylie provides administrative support to the Survivor Outreach and Domestic Programs teams, as well as general office assistance. Prior to JDI, Kylie worked as a policy and legislative aide for a reentry nonprofit in Los Angeles, focusing on efforts to ensure housing assistance, food security, and employment opportunities for people who are formerly incarcerated.

  • Kristin Hall Deputy Executive Director (She/her/hers)

    Kristin Hall is one of JDI’s Deputy Executive Directors. She oversees JDI’s fundraising and communication efforts, educating supporters about sexual abuse in detention, working with allies to create programs that will make detention safer, and securing support from foundations, government agencies, and individuals. She also oversees JDI’s survivor outreach program. Prior to joining JDI, Kristin spent more than 15 years working as an advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Working in domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers, she provided crisis counseling and criminal justice advocacy, supervised volunteer programs, and trained community professionals on gender-based violence and how to respond to survivors. Kristin is a trained domestic violence and rape crisis counselor.

  • Leelyn Aquino-Shinn Operations Director (She/her/hers)

    Leelyn Aquino-Shinn, MPA, is JDI’s Operations Director. She handles the administrative management of the organization and assists with staff and board development. She also leads JDI’s survivor outreach team, which responds to thousands of incarcerated survivors who contact JDI each year. Leelyn previously worked as a paralegal at an immigration law firm. Leelyn is bilingual in English and Tagalog and is a trained rape crisis counselor.

  • Leyla Dost Program Officer (they/them/theirs)

    Leyla Dost is a Program Officer with JDI. Leyla provides emotional support, resources, and advocacy to incarcerated survivors of sexual abuse through JDI’s emotional support line and via written correspondence. Leyla also provides support to JDI’s training and technical assistance teams. Before joining JDI, Leyla was an advocate at a rape crisis center, providing PREA support services including direct client counseling, hotline support and community outreach. Leyla is also a member of JDI’s Survivor Council.

  • Linda McFarlane Executive Director (She/her/hers)

    Linda McFarlane, MSW, LCSW, is the Executive Director and Board Secretary of JDI. Linda manages all of JDI’s work, in the U.S. and internationally, and serves as the organization’s primary spokesperson. A licensed social worker, Linda has more than 30 years of experience working with survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. Previously, Linda served as JDI’s Deputy Executive Director. In that role, she trained corrections officials, medical and mental health practitioners, and direct service providers in preventing and responding to sexual violence behind bars. She also worked with corrections agencies on implementing programs to make their facilities safer. Before joining JDI in 2005, Linda worked in community rape crisis programs, foster care, and with adults with mental illness. She also worked as a staff member, unit supervisor, and therapist in a detention facility for girls with mental illness.

  • Nicole de la Torre Program Director (She/her/hers)

    Nicole de la Torre is a Program Director and a member of JDI’s domestic programs team. She has nearly fifteen years of experience supporting incarcerated survivors of trauma, and working with corrections agencies and survivor advocacy organizations to make detention facilities safer. Nicole oversees JDI’s confidential hotline for incarcerated survivors of sexual abuse and leads an initiative that brings therapeutic art workshops into detention facilities around the nation. Nicole also supports survivor advocacy programs and state coalitions in their efforts to provide services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated survivors of sexual abuse, and she provides training, technical assistance and coaching to corrections agencies that supports the meaningful implementation of the PREA standards. A trained survivor advocate, Nicole is bilingual in English and Spanish.

  • Prince Nare Co-Director (He/him/his)

    Prince Nare is Co-Director at JDI-South Africa. As a key member of the JDI-South Africa team, he coordinates JDI’s work inside South African prisons and works with other civil society organizations to highlight the needs, human rights, and dignity of inmates. Previously, Prince worked on a project of the University of Pretoria that aims to improve the health care at district hospitals. Additionally, Prince has researched and written extensively about human rights abuses and barriers to health and justice facing sex workers in several African countries.

  • Rea Noge Program Officer (She/her/hers)

    Reabetsoe (Rea) Noge is a Program Officer at Just Detention International-South Africa. Rea leads JDI-SA’s survivor support work, participates in capacity-building for stakeholders, and conducts advocacy to protect the rights of incarcerated people. She is a Child and Youth Care Practitioner by profession. Before joining JDI-SA, Rea was the Counselling and Employee Wellness Services Manager at Lifeline Johannesburg, which offers free mental health services to marginalized communities. She has also facilitated BrainBoosters — an educational program for children. Rea is passionate about mental health and has presented on the subject to national and international audiences.

  • Sasha Gear Co-Director (She/her/hers)

    Sasha Gear is Co-Director at JDI-South Africa. Sasha works closely with the South African Department of Correctional Services and civil society groups to address sexual abuse in detention and the associated health risks. Sasha also leads JDI-South Africa’s outreach with prisoner rape survivors. Before joining JDI, Sasha worked at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, where her research on sexual violence in South African prisons has helped bring this abuse out of the shadows. She has published several scholarly articles on issues of gender and sexual abuse in South African prisons.

  • Susana Contreras Development Manager (She/her/ella)

    Susana Contreras, MA, is JDI’s Development Manager. Susana plays a critical role in securing support from government agencies, foundations, and individuals. Susana brings a decade of fundraising experience and nonprofit management to JDI, having previously worked in the arts and higher education sectors. She has direct experience working with survivors who spoke out against abuses in the music industry. Susana is bilingual in Spanish and English.

  • Tara Graham National Program Director (She/her/hers)

    Tara Graham, MPH, is JDI’s National Program Director, based in its Washington, D.C. office. She provides training and technical assistance to corrections agencies on preventing and responding to sexual abuse in detention. She has been working on the development and implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act standards for 15 years, including at the National PREA Resource Center. Her research experience includes interviewing homeless and runaway youth and incarcerated women about issues including drug use, sexual behaviors, and experience with physical and sexual violence. Previously, Tara served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania working on HIV/AIDS prevention with an emphasis on women and youth.

  • Unathi Mahlati Senior Program Officer (She/her/hers)

    Unathi Mahlati, MA, is a Senior Program Officer at JDI-South Africa. She conducts research, manages JDI-SA’s communications, drafts internal policy/policies, and trains the Department of Correctional Services’ (DCS) officials and spiritual care workers on preventing and addressing sexual abuse of incarcerated people. Additionally, she conducts trauma-informed art workshops with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, using creative expression as a tool for reflection and healing. Before joining JDI-SA, she was an intern at the Wits Justice Project, a program of the University of Witwatersrand’s Journalism Department that investigates miscarriages of justice within South Africa’s criminal justice system.

  • Vanessa Sapien Mental Health Program Director (She/her/hers)

    Vanessa Sapien, MA, is JDI’s Mental Health Program Director. As a member of JDI’s domestic programs team, she provides training and technical assistance for corrections staff, advocates, and service providers on how to keep prisoners safe from sexual violence. A mental health professional and trained domestic violence and rape crisis counselor, Vanessa has many years of experience helping survivors. She has received numerous awards for her clinical work, including a Presidential Service Award. Vanessa has also been recognized for her work in honoring diversity and social justice in mental health.