Leaders Across State Launch Mississippi Bail Fund Collective
An organization committed to paying bail for poor Mississippians
June 19th, 2019
Today, a coalition of social workers, attorneys, and activists from across Mississippi launched the Mississippi Bail Fund Collective to address the injustices perpetrated by Mississippi’s cash bail system.
Mississippi’s nearly exclusive use of cash bail is devastating poor communities. Poor Mississippians are languishing in jails while waiting on congested courts to decide their fate. Many sit month after month and year after year waiting to have their cases heard because they lack the money to purchase their freedom. While they wait, jobs are lost, families are evicted, cars are repossessed and children are left without parents. To right these wrongs, the Mississippi Bail Fund Collective is committed to bailing poor people out of jail and offering compassionate help to reverse the damage their jail stay has caused.
The Mississippi Bail Fund Collective has begun work in its home base of Jackson, Mississippi and plans to expand across the state as the organization grows. The Collective is looking for individuals willing to join the fight by donating to end cash bail. The Mississippi Bail Fund Collective is an initiative of the People’s Advocacy Institute, a registered 501(c)(3) organization, and tax-deductible donations will be used to get everyday Mississippians out of jail and an opportunity to experience justice.
Quotes from partners are below:
“In Mississippi, poor people are coerced into pleading guilty to crimes they didn’t commit. Too many poor Mississippians, desperate to return to their jobs and their families, give up their rights in exchange for their freedom. An initiative that addresses this injustice is long overdue.” —Beau Rudder, Director of Training, Office of the State Public Defender
“The criminal system is the reason why so many of us black people can not make it. It has expectations that are set so high that many of us black people cannot reach them. One expectation is the ability to pay bail in order to go home. Most of the time we can’t afford the bail and so we plead guilty. We as black people are the ones that are affected by this, it’s an injustice system!” —Simone Cavett-Windom, a mother with the People’s Advocacy Institute & the Mississippi Bail Fund Collective
“The unique status of the black woman, when compared to other women in the American justice system, is rooted in the heritage of slavery based on race. The Mississippi Bail Fund Collective is vital in combating said racism. This fund recognizes the need and has risen to the challenge.”—Tamara McCullum, a mother with Black Mamas Day Bail Out & the Mississippi Bail Fund Collective
The work of the Mississippi Bail Fund Collective is made possible because of the dedication and commitment to justice from the following groups:
Office of the State Public Defender
People’s Advocacy Institute
Black With No Chaser
Mississippi in Action
Bellinder Law Firm