Our mission

The Bronx Freedom Fund envisions a society that humanizes instead of criminalizes. We restore the presumption of innocence by keeping clients with their families, at their jobs, and out of jail while they await trial. We work tirelessly to fight mass incarceration and the criminalization of race and poverty, and to end the cash bail system as it exists. 

What is the purpose of bail?

Bail was intended as an incentive for people to return to court by ensuring they will receive their money back if they appear at all court dates. The court is technically required to release people without bail if they have been deemed likely to return without financial incentive. 

Why help pay bail for others?

While bail was not created as a form of punishment, it’s certainly used as one. Even one night in jail can cause people to lose public benefits, healthcare, housing, jobs, and custody of their children. While detained, people have no bargaining power or ability to prove their ties to family and community, forcing many to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit. This results in a criminal record that follows them for the rest of their lives.

Paying bail brings people back to their communities and sends the powerful message that we need a better system – one that does not criminalize on the basis of race and poverty. 

96%

of our clients return for all their court dates, despite not having any of their own money on the line

92%

of defendants who stay in jail until the end of their case because they can't pay bail will plead guilty, forfeit their constitutional right to trial, and likely go home with a criminal record.

55%

of our clients’ cases result in a dismissal of all charges, while almost 40% of cases that result in a charge merely culminate in a violation that carries no criminal record, similar to a traffic ticket