The U.S. bail system, as it currently functions, is horrifically expensive on both ends—expensive for paycheck-to-paycheck low-level offenders who lose their jobs because they can’t make a $1000 bail payment and wind up in jail for potentially weeks and months waiting for trial (where they may be found not guilty)—expensive for municipalities that have to house a lot of non-threatening people in jails which cost money.
These are people in jail who have not been found guilty of anything; who are not flight risks; who are not an imminent danger to themselves or others.
Locking them up only makes sense if you think of poor people as vermin, and think it’s worth paying to keep them out of sight. It’s the same kind of sense that makes you put down anti-homeless spikes because you think homelessness happens when the ground is too inviting.
Bail funds are not a permanent solution, but they’re a bandaid that stops at least some of the bleeding until we get this fixed legislatively, city by city.
This mother’s day, a number of bail funds are focused on getting mammas out of holding cells, and getting them back with their kids. I made a donation in honor of my mom. I think she’ll be more excited about it than other presents.
If you’ve wondered what Black Lives Matter has been up to (“oh, they’ve disappeared, where are the marches”): Stuff like this. There’s also a major southern LGBTQ group (called SONG) behind it, and it’s backed by the organizers of the Women’s March.