Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Mother Jones (May 12, 2017): Black Lives Matter is Bailing Out Women for Mother's Day, by Brandon E. Patterson:
Organized around Mother's Day, National Black Mamas Bail Out Day raised nearly $500,000 to bail out over 50 women around the country. Organizers in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, Oakland and 13 other cities used relationships with criminal justice organizations to identify women to bail out of jail.
The number of women behind bars in the United States has increased 700 percent since 1980, according to the Sentencing Project. More than 100,000 women are currently in jail. Many have not been convicted of anything but are unable to make bail, and a disproportionate number of them are black. Eighty percent of incarcerated women are mothers, according to the Vera Institute of Justice.
Nationally, the median bail set for a felony charge is $10,000, almost a year's income for the average person unable to meet bail, according to the Sentencing Policy Initiative. Nearly 90 percent of inmates awaiting trial can't afford bail; The average bail amount in felony cases has nearly tripled since 1990.
Organizers in some cities held welcome events for newly freed women and their families. The groups are also raising money for a similar bail out effort in honor of Father's day on June 18.