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Contact: Jesse Lerner-Kinglake
Office: 213-384-1400 ext. 113
Cell: 323-351-5796
E-mail: jkinglake@justdetention.org

Statement on Just Detention International’s Nomination for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize

  • November 11, 2021

Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., November 11, 2021 — Just Detention International (JDI) is thrilled to learn that it has been nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.

In their submission to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, the nominator — who, per convention, wishes to remain anonymous — cited JDI’s singular role in fighting to end the global crisis of prisoner rape. “JDI is as intrepid as it is optimistic,” stated the submission letter. “It insists — boldly and fearlessly — that sexual abuse is preventable, that no obstacle to ending this violence is too great, and that it is possible to transform the political and moral foundations of any criminal justice system in the interest of humanity and justice.”

“It is an incredible honor to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize,” said Linda McFarlane, JDI’s Executive Director. “Any recognition of JDI’s accomplishments is a testament to the courage of prisoner rape survivors who refused to stay silent about the abuse they suffered while in the government’s custody. Survivors not only raised awareness of this once-invisible crisis, but demanded that government officials take action to stop it. Their extraordinary efforts constitute one of the great human rights success stories of our time.”

“For most of my time in prison, we were given the message that human rights didn’t apply to us — that we didn’t deserve safety and dignity,” said Johanna Mills, a leading prisoners’ rights advocate and long-time member of JDI’s Survivor Council. “When I was raped in prison by a staff member, I was punished for speaking out. Officials threatened me to try to keep me quiet and protect my rapist. But JDI stood up for survivors like me. I’m proud to have been part of JDI’s work to bring prisoner rape out of the shadows and shift the way incarcerated people are treated. The Nobel Peace Prize nomination is an affirmation of JDI’s core belief: no matter what crime someone may have committed, rape is not part of the penalty.”

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Just Detention International is a health and human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention.