OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

The Detainee Support Net - Financial, Legal, Moral

A service that provides detainee support through micro-loans/gifts, a pro bono legal network, social network exposure, and moral support. This could be accomplished through detainee profile widgets incorporated into existing sites.

Photo of DeletedUser
42 67

Written by DeletedUser

This site allows families to tell their unique stories of detainment while giving them a network of financial, legal and moral support. The general layout is profile based and sortable/filterable on levels of region, days detained, name, etc. It's meant to be simple by providing each detainee's story along with four channels of support. 

Each profile will display the number of days they've been detained, a link to send their families money through micro-loans (or gifts), an email link to provide them with words of encouragement, and a legal network link that allows lawyers/students to collaborate on individual cases.

The legal collaboration-portal is a non-trivial part of this offering, which I've yet to mock up. In general, lawyers and students would create profiles and manage any cases where they see fit (lots of room here I know). 

The family portal allows family members to upload pictures, videos, and stories that represent their detainee's unique situation. It also provides them a channel of communication with their legal council and access to any funds donated. 

Each profile will also have the requisite links to social networks so visitors can pass along their stories.  

**update: Through some inspiration from Vincent and Anne-Laure and in an effort to integrate with existing networks of aid, the profile website could be broken down into profile widgets that could be incorporated with various websites using existing architecture to handle the channels of support.  

Several inspirations led to this. I probably would've simply added on to Festus's Food, Shelter & Clothing concept, but wanted to provide some additional services and visuals -   /open/amnesty/concepting/food-shelter-clothing/ - I also used a few of Margaret's great inspirations:

I've included the others at right, if there were some I missed please let me know!

**update -
Sparked by Kerry's Raising Empathy - Animated Series:
and her discussion about the importance of reunions and success stories, I added a "Released!" mock-up.

If anonymity is important or the family is unable to access the digital tools necessary to create their stories these widgets could also link to either Kerry's animations or Amanda's My Voice service: 

Angeliki's concept of crowd-sourcing for small tasks is also really great, so along with the legal support net the "Assist" service should also incorporate a micro-tasking network:

Refinement UPDATE:

I went ahead and mocked up a detainee profile widget just to see how it might look sitting on top of partner websites. You can check it out here:

I think it would be great if embedding a Support Net widget could be as easy as embedding a YouTube or Vimeo video in existing websites.

Generally, it seems there are a few ways to use the Support Net. One is to support individual detainees whose stories have been independently validated and who are actively seeking additional exposure to support their release. These are the high profile detainees and actually (question for Amnesty) I'm unclear how many of these types of cases exist. Another use would be to support an anonymous detained individual. These cases would also have to be validated for authenticity and may require additional administration in order to limit those involved in their support. These could be cases collected through services like Anne-Laure's Shift Van or through the support of local NGOs working in communities of risk. A service for tracking a Shift Van could also be offered, so those who feel uncomfortable completing a profile online can wait for assistance in their community. 

Finally though, this concept could be used in the short term to support established Amnesty Actions like:

In this case, the "donate" feature of the Support Net would utilize Amnesty's existing donate infrastructure and the "comfort" feature would link to the associated petitions.

As mentioned in the concept phase leveraging existing networks is an important function of the Support Net. There are concepts within this final round that would fit nicely into this support net. I can imagine the "donate" feature linking to Elliot's Sponsor a Spouse campaign and the "comfort" feature linking to Amanda's "Creating Connections" network. Until these are developed there are several existing networks for collecting donations or providing legal support. Through a bit of research I was able to find a couple great pro-bono networks:

And as suggested by the Cornell Life Link team, a national collegiate club could be established, giving law students the opportunity to work on specific cases.  

and services like:

Questions for Amnesty:
Is there enough demand for a site/service like the support net? How many high profile cases exist in any given time? How many anonymous and "verified" cases exist? Is there enough legal work for each case to keep a pro bono network engaged? 

What kind of resources are needed to get this idea off the ground and/or support it over time?

This is a fairly simple idea that probably requires extensive architecture. It seems there are five main pieces: - the detainee profiles main page - the legal collaboration offering - the family's story-building entry point - a method of communication between the legal team and family - and a donation handling service


Join the conversation:

Photo of DeletedUser


Hi Jason + Amnesty team. What a cool idea!

I work in a low-tech environment (accessing this site is a minor miracle) and everything that requires getting online is a hassle. I saw a mobile access van proposed in the comments below as an alternative for low-tech environments. This is a great idea for a place like Australia, but what are alternatives for places in which open criticism of government is hazardous to one's health? How do families and supporters learn of resources and use them?

View all comments