Poverty is not a crime, but every day thousands of New Yorkers await trial in city jails because they cannot afford bail, which is often as low as $250. 

For our community in the South Bronx, “innocent until proven guilty” does not apply. With one of the most backlogged court systems in the country, people wait years before going to trial. Even one night in jail can cause someone to lose their job, their housing, and even custody of their children.  

We are a nonprofit with a revolving fund to pay bail for people accused of misdemeanors. Our goal is to keep people in their communities while they await trial – and to fight for a system that no longer criminalizes poverty. 


Did you know that right now, 1,200 high school-aged New Yorkers who have not been convicted are incarcerated on Rikers Island? They are sitting in jail because they cannot afford to pay bail. That's why we teamed up with RFK Human RightsYouth Represent, and Brooklyn Community Bail Fund to bail as many kids as possible out before public schools start on September 7, and many more through the end of September.

We've paid bail for over 600 people this year, but there are thousands more we can support. Will you help us keep them in their communities and out of jail?

Just $39 will help us secure someone’s freedom.

 

Who we're serving

James Broadus II is one of the few defendants who refused to plead guilty when he couldn’t make bail. Mr. Broadus was arrested in the Bronx and charged with petty larceny and assault—accused of taking a backpack from one man and choking another. When a judge set bail at $1,000, which Mr. Broadus and his relatives could not pay, he maintained his innocence and refused to plead guilty.

Learn more about our clients

A body incarcerated stays incarcerated. A body free stays free.
— David Feige, Co-Founder

Why bail matters

People who await trial in jail are4xmore likely to be sentenced to time in jail.

Only1in10 people in NYC are able to pay bail at arraignment.

Without our help, over90%of people who stay in jail on bail will plead guilty, even if they did not commit the crime.