Pretrial incarceration destabilizes those who are already most marginalized: it turns housing instability into homelessness, minimum wage into unemployment, and accusations into convictions. Tonight, nearly half a million Americans, disproportionately people of color, will sleep in jail cells across the U.S. because they cannot afford the cost of their freedom. Legally presumed innocent but trapped behind bars, many will trade guilty pleas in exchange for their liberty, taking criminal records that will follow them into the job market and beyond. The Bail Project pays bail for those who can’t afford it, returning them to their families, jobs, and communities as they fight their cases. We then connect them to employment services and other resources in the community, and we advocate for systemic changes to our pretrial system. We have secured freedom for more than 30,000 people. We currently operate in jurisdictions across the country, and we aim to expand our reach in the South.
The Bail Project, Inc.website: http://www.bailproject.org
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The Bail Project launched nationally in January 2018. Our team of Bail Disruptors has freed over 30,000 people while providing them with court reminders, transportation assistance, and referrals to social services as needed using our model of Community Release with Support. We have prevented the harm of more than 1,000,000 days in jail for our clients through these efforts—stopping the disruption incarceration brings to families, communities, and the labor market.
Nationally, our clients have maintained a 92% court appearance rate, and a staggering 35% of The Bail Project’s clients have all their cases dismissed. Our results provide further evidence that we should end cash bail to create a more just, equitable, and humane pretrial system. To learn more about our work, visit