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  • First launched in May 2017, the initiative raised sufficient funds to free nearly 100 women who were in jail awaiting trial.

    First launched in May 2017, the initiative raised sufficient funds to free nearly 100 women who were in jail awaiting trial. | Photo: National Bailout Initiative/ twitter

Published 8 May 2018

The collective works on a number of issues pertaining to the incarceration of Black people, which disproportionately impacts African Americans.    

Ahead of the Mother's Day, the National Bailout Collective has for a second consecutive year launched a campaign to raise funds to post bail for incarcerated Black mothers so that they can be with their children.

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"We are committed to building a community-based movement to end pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration. The Mama’s Day action is rooted in the tradition of our enslaved ancestors who went to every length, including harnessing their collective resources, to purchase each other’s freedom and keep their families together," the organizers of the initiative, which will take place in 20 cities across the United States, said in a statement. 

First launched in May 2017, the initiative raised sufficient funds to free nearly 100 women who were in jail awaiting trial. The overwhelming support sparked a year-round movement, with fundraising drives for Father’s Day, Juneteenth, and Pride, and a total of 200 persons of color returned home to their families as they await trial. 

"Everyday an average of 700,000 people are condemned to local jails and separated from their families. A majority of them are there simply because they cannot afford to pay bail," the campaign site stated. 

The collective works on a number of issues pertaining to the incarceration, which disproportionately impacts African Americans.    

Apart from raising funds for cis and trans women and femmes, the campaign will also shed light on the local organizing efforts as putting pressure on local legislators, judges and district attorneys to abolish the cash bail system, which effectively incarcerates people for living in poverty. 

Nearly 13 partners signed onto this year's campaign, including Southerners on New Ground, Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Dream Defenders. 

"Everyday tens of thousands of people languish in jail simply because they cannot afford bail," the fundraising website noted. The collective further detailed the impact on families for pre-trial incarceration, adding, "Pre-trial incarceration has catastrophic impacts on our communities in particular. Black people are over two times more likely to be arrested and once arrested are twice as likely to be caged before trial. Our LBGTQ and gender non-conforming family are targeted and caged at even more alarming rates, and once in jail are significantly more likely to be sexually and physically abused." 

"In addition to the over $9 billion wasted to incarcerate people who have been convicted of no crime, pre-trial incarceration has catastrophic impacts on families and communities. Even a few days in jail can ruin a person’s life. They may lose their job; their family may lose housing and some even lose their children." 

Courtesy: National Bail Out Initiative 

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