WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE AIM TO DO
THE CO-FOUNDERS OF THIS PROJECT ARE LOCAL SOCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS WHO HAVE SEEN PRETRIAL DETENTION AND MONEY BAIL AFFECT THE PEOPLE WE SERVE ON A REGULAR BASIS - AND WE WANT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
Our plan is to start small and raise money through grassroots fundraising. We plan to begin partnering with local businesses, attorneys, public defenders, local social service agencies and organizations, mental and behavioral health care providers, and community members to fundraise and advocate for the need for such fund in this city with such great potential. Members involved in getting this fund started are already connected with dozens of community service agencies and organizations and are able to use those connections to assist individuals we intend to bail out through this fund.
PLANNING OUR FIRST BAIL OUT
UPDATE: We have successfully completed our first bail out. Head to the blog for more info!
Who We Have Identified
Our first individual we plan to bail out using these funds is a 20-year-old African American woman who is currently enrolled in a housing program through a local non-profit. Through this program she receives monthly rental assistance, supportive case management, transportation assistance, connections to services such as mental and behavioral health, medical, employment, among many others. This young lady was chosen to be bailed out based on her current connection to supportive services that can help her be in compliance with pretrial conditions and make her court appearances so that the bail can be returned to the fund and assist others. She was also chosen as she is at risk of losing her housing, employment, and enrollment in school if she is not bonded out in a timely manner. She was homeless, living in shelters and her car prior to entering her current program and is a domestic violence survivor.
She has been charged with two felonies in a neighboring county and this is her first criminal offense. According to her, she has not had the chance to defend herself by explaining her side of the story (which she states was self-defense) to the courts or meet with her public defender outside of court regarding the events which led to these charges. We would like to bail her out to give her a chance to self-advocate, return to work and school, and to be able to show up in court in presentable attire. She has been charged with these felonies and not convicted, so this young lady is constitutionally presumed innocent and deserves the right to get out of jail before her court date which is in early June.