Free the People on New Year’s Eve

Happy #FreeThePeopleDay! Did you know there are currently over 443,000 people in America who are incarcerated pretrial with 90% in cages simply because they can’t afford to pay their bail? This means that people who have been arrested including those for nonviolent harm such as theft, drug possession, trespassing, and even immigration “violations” will be kept in local and federal jails before they’ve even been charged with or convicted of a crime. Many people will admit to the harm committed so they don’t have to remain behind bars. Once again this is pretrial, so poor people are essentially held in local, state, and federal jails for a set bond determined by the judge, and many are forced to plead guilty to their harm (whether innocent or guilty), pay an outstanding amount of money, or remain in prison until they can fight their case in court. People who are incarcerated after arrest can no longer go to work, see their families, or pay their bills, so they often lose their jobs, lose custody of their children if they are the primary caregiver, and can even lose their housing all while locked up before seeing a courtroom. Cash bail breeds a cycle of irreparable damage to both families and communities and incarcerating people only because they are poor does nothing to keep society safe. This New Year’s Eve on Free the People Day, I’m donating the cost of three drinks to three community bail funds that matter to me: Luke 4:18 Bail Fund, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, and Hutto Community Deportation & Defense Bond Fund and see my donations matched so that we can free more people from cages during the holiday season. If you want to join me, head over to the Directory of Community Bail Funds and donate whatever you please to the funds of your choice. Let’s empty every cage this New Year’s Eve and abolish pretrial detention so cash bail will no longer exist!