Groups begin bailing out strangers to free poor from jail

FILE PHOTO In this photo taken Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, a sign is seen in the window of a bail bonds office across from the Hall of Justice in San Francisco. Two Harvard law school graduates are waging war against the time-honored cash bail bond system, saying it discriminates against poor people who don’t have homes to put up as security for getting out of jail.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

CHICAGO (AP) – Activists who say too many poor people are unfairly languishing in U.S. jails are increasingly deploying a new tactic: Bailing out strangers. Community groups are collecting donations from individuals, churches and other organizations in more than a dozen cities, and have bailed out several thousand people in the last few years. And so far, the overwhelming majority of defendants still show up for court even when they have no money on the line, according to the groups.

The bail funds are a step toward a larger goal for some legal reform activists: abolishing the cash bail system. Advocates say it creates two unequal tiers of justice: one for people who can afford bail and one for people who can’t.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s