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 is intended to function 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 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.