Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) is the official network of the U.S. immigration detention visitation movement and a member organization of DWN. CIVIC connects and supports over 20 volunteer-led visitation programs with the goal to protect against human rights abuses and facilitate systemic change in how immigrants are treated in the United States.
To end the isolation and abuse of men and women in U.S. immigration detention by building and strengthening volunteer-run community visitation programs.
CIVIC has identified four priorities critical to achieving this mission: (1) develop the capacities of current visitation programs, (2) identify and build new visitation programs reaching all 250+ detention centers across the country, (3) promote a deeper public understanding of the U.S. immigration detention system by empowering communities through visitation, collecting stories, and leading advocacy initiatives, and (4) offer one-on-one support and peer counseling to CIVIC members by creating a space for immigration detention visitors to plan together and encourage one another in common efforts
CIVIC is a community of faith-based and secular organizations as well as individuals, all of whom care deeply about the lives of people inside of detention facilities across the United States. Detention visitors affirm the humanity of those suffering in the midst of a dehumanizing scenario, while also being the “eyes and ears” that educate the public and hold local and governmental officials accountable.
CIVIC, formerly known as the National Detention Visitation Network, began in November 2009 when a small group of visitation programs and interested individuals across the county joined forces to create a visitation manual and provide support to one another through monthly conference calls and an email listserv, coordinated by Rev. David Fraccaro and incubated by the Detention Watch Network.
In 2012, this network of innovative visitation programs became CIVIC and its co-directors, Christina Fialho and Christina Mansfield, were selected as 2012 Echoing Green Fellows from a pool of over 3,500 applicants from around the world.
To become a volunteer visitor or supporter of CIVIC, please contact Christina Fialho at CFialho [at] endisolation [dot] org or call 385-212-4842 (385-21-CIVIC). For more information and upcoming events, visit their website at www.endisolation.org.
- Strategies and Stories on Starting an ICE-Approved Visitation Program
- List of U.S. Visitation Programs
- Visitation News & Media For examples of established visitation programs visit:
- Alterna Visitation Program and El Refugio Hospitality House - www.elrefugiostewart.com
- Detention Dialogues - detentiondialogues.blogspot.com
- IRATE & First Friends
- Sojourners Detention Visitation Project of the Riverside Church