Bail makes the difference
We've teamed up with TIME: The Kalief Browder Story to honor the memory of Kalief Browder, who, as a teenager, spent three years on Rikers Island without ever being convicted. An inability to pay bail tore apart Kalief's family and community, and eventually led him to commit suicide. Every day, we pay bail for people in the South Bronx, so they can return to their families, jobs and lives.
Help us fight for the rights of South Bronx community members, like Kalief, kept in jail because they cannot afford bail. Donate to the Bronx Freedom Fund.
"I feel like I'm still in jail...I feel like I was robbed of my happiness."
Kalief Browder’s name has become synonymous with the problems of our pretrial justice system. He was accused of hitting someone and taking their backpack. His family in the South Bronx couldn’t afford $3,000 for his bail. He sat on Rikers Island from ages 16 to 19 awaiting trial. His case was dismissed after three years behind bars – two of those in solitary confinement – when the court found that he hadn’t stolen the backpack. Struggling with the acute trauma of incarceration, Kalief Browder committed suicide soon after.
James Broadus II
“I would have done whatever I had to do to get out. [Even] saying, ‘Yeah, I’m guilty.’”
James Broadus’ charges were eerily similar. He, too, was accused of hitting someone and taking their backpack. His family in the South Bronx was unable to pool together $1,000 for his bail. He was sent to jail, expecting to remain there until the close of his case. But a few hours later, the Bronx Freedom Fund bailed him out, and he returned home to his job and his grandmother in time for Thanksgiving. His case was dismissed after coming back to court for ten months, when the court found that he hadn’t stolen the backpack.