(nomoremoneybail.org) “Over 60 percent of people in jail in the United States are being detained while they await trial. They’re not serving time as a punishment. They’ve been found guilty of no crime. Instead, in the majority of cases, money is the barrier to freedom. They languish in jail because the bail amount far exceeds what they and their families can afford. Their poverty alone imprisons them. The result is a two-tiered system of justice: one for those who have and one for those who do not.
The inability to afford bail forces people to plead guilty just to get out of jail, even when they are innocent, or in cases that are weak or involve unlawful arrests. If they don’t, they may spend months behind bars awaiting trial. And while pleading guilty lets them go home, they carry a criminal record for life. Poverty robs them of the presumption of innocence and their right to a fair trial.
The damage doesn’t end with a guilty plea. Bail pushes already-struggling families further onto the margins of society. Even a short stint in jail can mean the loss of a job, eviction or deportation. Those who can scrape together the money may be forced to choose between paying bail and paying rent, or buying any number of things they and their families depend on. Bail destroys lives.
We see the stark inequities bail causes every day in New York City. Rikers Island is filled with presumptively innocent individuals locked up solely because they can’t afford bail. Bail is a primary driver of mass incarceration, wastes public funds and intensifies racial and economic inequalities here in New York and across the nation.” ( National Mama’s Bail Out)
The National Mama’s Bail Out—a “coordinated effort by more than a dozen organizations to reunite families on Mother’s Day and bring attention to the true costs of money bail and mass incarceration”– is in its final days.
The National Bail Out Collective launched in May 2017 with a campaign to post bail for Black mothers who would otherwise be separated from their children on Mother’s Day. The effort raised enough funds to free about 100 women who were in jail awaiting trial and sparked a year-round movement, with fundraising drives for Father’s Day, Juneteenth and Pride. In all, the group’s efforts helped more than 200 Black people return home to their families while the await trial, effectively giving them a way out of a system that disproportionately impacts African Americans.
So for Mother’s Day, instead of a box of chocolates (OK, BESIDES a box of chocolates) or cut flowers, tell your mom how important she’s been to you by helping other mothers come home to their kids.
Please, donate here.
Or make a consistent contribution by signing up for Appolition – the digital tool that allows you to give your spare change from purchases to National Bail Out. This program automatically gives your spare change from everyday purchases to help prevent the detrimental impact this has on our community.