The Bail Project is a national nonprofit that pays bail for people in need, reunites families, and restores the presumption of innocence. Through these efforts, they seek to create a more just pretrial system and help end mass incarceration.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
On any given night, nearly half a million people go to bed in jail cells in America without having been convicted of a crime because they cannot afford to pay bail.
Currently, there are roughly 4,800 people in the Dallas County Jail. 70% of them will sit in jail as they await their day in court because they cannot afford bail.
While being detained, individuals who cannot afford to post bail risk losing their jobs, homes, and children.
Nationally, taxpayers spend nearly $14 billion each year on pretrial detention.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Bail Project uses a revolving bail fund to pay bail for low-income people who are legally presumed innocent and a judge has deemed eligible for release before trial contingent on paying bail. The vast majority of The Bail Project cases involve bail amounts between $500 and $5,000. In many low-income households, these dollar amounts are far out of reach. The Bail Project enables individuals to return home to their families and communities while awaiting their court date.
The Bail Project also provides court reminders, referrals to voluntary social services, and transportation assistance to help people come back to court. As their cases close, bail is repaid and can be recycled to help additional people.
In addition to these direct services, The Bail Project collects data and human stories to support advocacy and reform. Through these efforts, The Bail Project seeks to reshape pretrial justice for generations of Americans to come, bringing us one step closer to ending mass incarceration and racial and economic disparities in the U.S. criminal legal system.
Chase Oaks Church is honored to come alongside and support The Bail Project as they launch their next site in Dallas. We are also happy to help the scores of individuals who are detained in Dallas jails because they cannot afford bail. We celebrate the work The Bail Project is doing to support these individuals, and we applaud their efforts to disrupt a system that disproportionately and unjustly impacts low-income communities.