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Detention Dialogues is a volunteer-run immigration detention visitation program and a member of the Detention Watch Network's National Visitation Network. Detention Dialogues matches volunteers with immigration detainees who do not have family or friends in Northern California to visit them for a sustained, one-to-one relationship.
Detention Dialogues' mission is to enable all motivated actors—including government, community members, nonprofits, academia, business, and philanthropy—to leverage their own distinctive roles to address the growth in immigration detention. By maintaining positive relationships with these motivated actors, we (1) provide companionship for immigrants in detention and a link to the outside world, (2) connect them to pro-bono legal services, (3) educate the family of detainees on their rights and responsibilities, and (4) encourage community dialogue on the ethical dimensions of migration-related detention in the U.S.
Detention Dialogues was started in 2010 in response to the growth nationally in immigration detention and the need locally to link detainees with the tools and resources that will facilitate justice for detainees, their families, and our community. Detention Dialogues was founded on the belief that personal interaction and cooperation between detainees and volunteers is mutually empowering. It is through providing companionship to detainees that Detention Dialogues' volunteers understand how best to serve and advocate on their behalf.