In America, many people find themselves on the wrong side of the Justice System, and amongst those, there is a significant number of them that are behind bars because they cannot afford to post bail when it is granted because they do not have the financial means to even use the services of a bail bond agency due to not having any stable income or someone who will lend them the money to pay for such services. Charity Pays Bail For Those Who Can’t Afford It is a video that talks about the work that the executive director of this charity Peter Goldberg does to help out accused persons who cannot afford to pay their bail or have a bail bond agency pay it on their behalf.
Peter believes that bail is used as an oppressive and punitive tool to imprison people who belong to a socially perceived lower class and subject to poverty. To date, this charity has managed to pay bail for approximately 1800 people from different age groups and racial demographics and will continue to help more people who need help.
One of these people who has been assisted by Peter and his community fund is 16-year-old Devon who was arrested for allegedly stealing his foster brother’s sneakers as retaliation to his brother stealing his Gameboy and even though this should be perceived as a familial interaction, there is an evident unequal relationship that exists and the community fund had to step in to help Deon because his foster family would not come to his aid.
What usually happens to people like Devon who are not financially equipped to pay their bail is that they get sent to jail and given a choice to either remain in jail and fight their case or they are under duress to plead guilty so that they can serve their jail term and eventually return home. This results in a lot of issues developing amongst these individuals who are primarily young black males. This is a never-ending cycle where millions of Americans and others in other parts of the world are sent to jail because they lack the financial means to pay for bail. The community fund is lobbying for cash bail to be rescinded because it punishes people who are poor and infringes on their rights.
As it stands, approximately 70% of Americans do not have enough savings to afford the bail set at $1000, meaning that bail affordability is a challenge that affects the majority of Americans. Most of these cases involve petty crimes that can be resolved without sentencing the defendant. There is an urgent need for the Justice system to reassess the requirements for jail and to analyze how cash bails affect people unequally. This community fund aims to help with addressing these issues while providing financial assistance to those who cannot afford to pay or use a bail bond agency.