In December 2017, Mariame Kaba (brilliant poet/activist who tweets as @prisonculture) spontaneously organized #FreeThePeopleDay and called on people to donate the cost of a drink on New Year’s Eve to their local community bail or bond fund. The idea is to donate the cost of one NYE drink to fund that bails people without means out of jail while they wait for trial. I’ve got some links below that you can use to donate, but first some thoughts:
* Bail Bonds (quick loans people use to get loved ones released pending trial) are right up there with payday loans when it comes to preying on the desperate and broke.
* Community bail funds are a critical resource in ensuring that parents can stay with their families while they await trail and keep providing for them.
* I know a lot of my friends are facing economic uncertainty with the current federal shut down. If you can’t give now, maybe donate the cost of a latte later?
Where to Give:
DC: The District of Columbia changed its bail rules a while back, so there don’t seem to be local bail funds for city jails. Check out the National Bail Fund Network or The Bail Project, or consider giving to funds in Virginia, Maryland, or (if you’re not from the DMV) wherever else you consider home.
VIRGINIA: The National Bail Fund Network will match all funds raised on December 31 by the Cville Immigrant Bond Fund, which helps with bond funding for immigrants in detention in the Charlottesville area. The Richmond Community Bail Fund also needs help to bail out people held in area jails.
MARYLAND: Maryland also changed its bail rules, but so far it sounds like that’s just resulting in more people being held without bond. The organization I found is Baltimore Action Legal Team.
MASSACHUSETTS: The National Bail Fund Network will match all funds raised on December 31 by the Beyond Bond and Legal Defense Fund.
MICHIGAN: In the Detroit area, The Bail Project is working with the Detroit Justice Center to establish a large-scale revolving bail fund for Michigan. An alternative is the Kent County I-Bond Fund, which assists with immigration bond funding in Western Michigan.
WEST VIRGINIA: I couldn’t find a local organization, so please consider giving to the National Bail Fund Network or The Bail Project.