Every two or three weeks, 20 or so people across the United States meet by phone conference to share stories, insights, and ask questions about developing immigration detention visitor programs in their communities. Visitation programs are a burgeoning niche, very much an immediate need all around the country's 400 detention facilities, and as more people become aware of the plight of asylum seekers and other immigration detainees, more and more want to get involved. Unfortunately, every detention center does business differently, and few know where to start. That's where the conference call comes in.
Folks from the many different levels of building a visitation program get to talk, discuss, share ideas, successes, failures, and insight with one another to support each other in the process. Details discussed include: how to build a strong network of visitors, the importance of networking, ways in which groups acquire 'alien numbers', the role and importance of having a visitation coordinator, among others.
For more information on the calls and how to build a visitation program, check out Detention Watch Network and our Training Program Manual.