List of U.S. Visitation Programs

Stages of Visitation

Stage 1: Interested in visitation, but unfamiliar with local detention center visitation policy, and/or have yet to link up with interested others.

Stage 2: Have begun to discuss a possible visitation program with others, and are using the DWN Visitation Manual to begin strategizing steps toward getting inside of a local detention center.

Stage 3: Have a group, and have been in touch with local detention facility officials, but have yet to get inside due to logistical issues or bureaucratic red tape.

Stage 4: Have visited a facility at least once, and working to recruit more volunteers and/or connect to additional local partners.

Stage 5: Are visiting a facility at least every other week, have a committed group of volunteers, and have additional partners to work on education, advocacy and post-release/family services locally.

Stage 5

El Refugio Visitation Program Stewart Detention Center, Lumpkin, Georgia In 2010, Alterna launched this hospitality house to better serve the families and friends of detainees at the Stewart Detention Center. It is completely volunteer-operated and is currently in operation on most weekends. At El Refugio visitors receive free meals and lodging as well as emotional and spiritual support. Volunteers staff the house and visit with detainees at the detention center. Group visitations can be coordinated by our volunteer house leaders. Alterna is a member of the Georgia Detention Watch Coalition which focuses on education and advocacy efforts. Contact(s): Anton Flores-Maisonet of Alterna, anton [at] alternacommunity [dot] com

Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants Chicago, IL Weekly visits to McHenry County Jail, new program, strong volunteer base. Additional work in public education, advocacy and post-release/family services. Contact(s): Sr. Pat Murphy, Sr. JoAnn Persch, jpmrsm [at] comcast [dot] net ( jpmrsm [at] comcast [dot] net), Jenny Dale JDale [at] chicagosanctuary [dot] org Sojourners Visitation

Program out of The Riverside Church New York City, NY Weekly visits to Elizabeth Detention Center, established program, strong volunteer base. Additional work in public education, advocacy and post-release/family services. Contact(s): Carol Fouke-Mpoyo, cfouke [at] churchworldservice [dot] org ( cfouke [at] churchworldservice [dot] org), Nate Crimmins, ncr

Hutto Visitation Program Austin, Texas Weekly/Bi-weekly visits to T. Don Hutto Detention Facility in Taylor, Texas. Additional work in public education and advocacy. Sponsored by Grassroots Leadership, Texans United for Families, and the Social Justice Institute at the University of Texas. Contact(s): Rocío Villalobos, rvillalobos [at] grassrootsleadership [dot] org

Immigrant Detainee Accompaniment Program Omaha, Nebraska Weekly visits to Douglas County Corrections Facility, new program, looking to expand volunteers. Additional work in public education. Contact(s): Kathleen Erickson, KErickson [at] mercywmw [dot] org ( KErickson [at] mercywmw [dot] org)

IRATE & First Friends Newark, NJ Weekly/Bi-weekly visits to Elizabeth Detention Center, and more recently Hudson County jail, established program, strong volunteer base. Currently we maintain 4 visitor programs with a total of 1,600 detainees at: Elizabeth Detention Center, Hudson County Correctional Center, Bergen County Jail, and Delaney Hall Detention Facility. We have an outstanding request to initiate a visitor program at Essex County Correctional Facility which has 800 detainees. In addition, we sponsor and provide some level of residental supoort for up to 20 released detainees. Because of the expansion, have a great need for additional funding. Any donations and referrals appreciated. Contact(s): Greg Sullivan, iratefirstfriends [at] gmail [dot] com ( iratefirstfriends [at] gmail [dot] com)

Monmouth County Coalition for Immigrant Rights Monmouth County, NJ Weekly/Bi-weekly visits to Monmouth County Jail, new program with strong volunteer base. Additional work in public education, advocacy and post-release/family services. Contact(s): Karina Wilkinson, kwilkinson_act [at] yahoo [dot] com ( kwilkinson_act [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society-National Jewish Center for Refugee Immigrant and Integration Services New Jersey Bi-weekly visits to Elizabeth Detention Center, new program, strong volunteer base, hope to expand Jewish visitation programs throughout US. Additional work in public education, advocacy, and post-release/family services. Contact(s): Roberta Elliot, Roberta [dot] elliott [at] hias [dot] org ( Roberta [dot] elliott [at] hias [dot] org)

Stage 4 and 5

Colorado AID Denver, CO Bi-weekly visits to the GEO, new program, strong volunteer base Additional work in public education, advocacy, and post-release/family services Contact(s): Jennifer Piper, AFSC, coloradoaid [at] gmail [dot] com ( coloradoaid [at] gmail [dot] com), or jpiper [at] afsc [dot] org"> jpiper [at] afsc [dot] org

The Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) Roundtable Volunteer Visitation Program Tacoma, Washington A group of dedicated volunteers who have committed to visiting each matched detained persons at least twice a month. Volunteers come to the Roundtable from a network of interfaith, community, and non-profit based organizations. Through a mentorship program, established volunteers orient new volunteers to the process of visitation. Most referrals are made through the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP). Detainees are also able to call the Roundtable directly, toll free, to request a community visitor. Contact: Pat Gunn, //nwdcr [dot] visitation [at] gmail [dot] com">nwdcr [dot] visitation [at] gmail [dot] com

Stage 3

Interfaith Coalition on Immigration Civil Immigrant Detainee Visitation Project Minneapolis, MN Hope to begin visitation to Ramsey County Jail, new program, issues with receiving permission for visitation program, committed, but new volunteer base. Additional work in public education and advocacy Contact(s): Julia Smith, jsmith10 [at] macalseter [dot] edu

South Texas Civil Rights Project Raymondville, Texas Weekly visits to Willacy Detention Center, new program, looking to expand volunteers. Contact(s): Sarah Henkel, shenkelita [at] gmail [dot] com ( shenkelita [at] gmail [dot] com), Cindy Johnson CJohnson [at] unitedmethodistwomen [dot] org

Detention Dialogues Bay Area, California Hope to begin visitation to Bay Area detention facilities soon, new program, looking to expand volunteers. Contact(s):Christina Mansfield, christinafield [at] gmail [dot] com, Christina Fialho, christina [dot] fialho [at] gmail [dot] com

Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW)-University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona Weekly visits to detention centers 1 ½ hours away, new program, looking to expand volunteer base. Additional work in public education, advocacy and post-release/family services. Contact(s): Patricia Manning, pmanning [at] email [dot] arizona [dot] edu ( pmanning [at] email [dot] arizona [dot] edu)

Stage 2

Independent Farmworker Center, Wayne City Migrant Service, Rochester Catholic Diocese Rochester, NY Hope to begin visitation to Batavia Detention Center soon, new program, looking to expand volunteers (a few volunteers have already visited. Additional work in public education, advocacy and post-release/family services. Contact(s): Ami Kadar, amikdar [at] yahoo [dot] com ( amikdar [at] yahoo [dot] com)

WISDOM Immigration Initiative Kenosha, WI New program, working specifically around advocacy, and interfaith prayer vigils outside of local detention facility. Contact(s): Barbara Pfaff, bpfarr_wisdom [at] sbcglobal [dot] net ( bpfarr_wisdom [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

York County Visitation Project York County, Pennsylvania Hope to begin visitation to York County Prison, new program, looking to expand volunteers. Contact(s):klee [at] eastern [dot] edu

Stage 1 Interested Individuals

  • Andi Summers, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, Asummers [at] ilapmaine [dot] org ( Asummers [at] ilapmaine [dot] org)
  • Katharine Gordon, Washington, DC, katharine [dot] gordon [at] gmail [dot] com ( katharine [dot] gordon [at] gmail [dot] com)
  • Jaime Lennon, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, Baltimore, MD, JLennon [at] lirs [dot] org ( JLennon [at] lirs [dot] org )
  • Audrey Robert Ramirez, audreymrobert [at] gmail [dot] com ( audreymrobert@gmail) Back to Visitation Main