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Prison, Racism, and Financial Black Holes

The cash bail system, voting rights, social ostracism, local red tape, and financial limitations keep returning citizens from fully enjoying citizenship in the United States. Even though they’ve paid for their crimes. Crunchy Cares partnered with non-profits to give returning citizens their constitutional rights back. 

Cash bail is one of the aspects of the criminal justice system that can keep communities wrapped up in systemic  bondage and debt. The bail system creates financial barriers for those who find themselves facing the criminal justice system. One of the largest barriers is not being able to afford bail, and the punishments for the inability to do so. Many times, bail is not consistent, and disproportionately affects communities of color. 

Who the Crunchy Cares team partnered with to address this.

The Louisville Community Bail Fund exists to not only bail out folks, but provide post-release support to get them from jail, fed, and to a situation of safety. LCBF also maintains a focus on preventative measures for those targeted by law enforcement and threatened with incarceration. While they work with national networks, they are also one of the only bail funds that rely entirely on support from individuals in the community.

The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition focuses on helping returning citizens in Florida become full members of society are not affected by partisan politics. At the core of their mission is the belief that all returning citizens – from all walks of life and political persuasions – should have access to Democracy, if they choose. They openly and legally work with local clerks to clear fines and fees for returning citizens. That includes payments to clerks offices in the vast majority of Florida’s 67 counties.

Number of people held in jail who aren't convicted
65%
Detainees who were people of color
69%
Detainees who were Black
43%
Detainees who were Hispanic
20%

Unconvicted defendants now make up about two-thirds (65%) of jail populations nationally. With far more people exposed to the harms of pretrial detention than before, the question of racial justice in the pretrial process is an urgent one – but the lack of national data has made it hard to answer.

“To build transformative communities, we must perform transformative acts of liberation. Cash bail is one of the aspects of the criminal justice system that keeps communities wrapped up in systemic slavery and in debt.” 

– Louisville Community Bail Fund

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Black felony defendants are 25% more likely to be held pre-trial
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Young Black men are 50% more likely to be detained pretrial than white defendants.
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Black and brown defendants receive bail amounts that are twice as high as bail set for white defendants

What can you do to help?

If you feel like joining Crunchy Links (and the Crunchy Cares team) in helping restore rights to those adversely affected by the cash bail system and restore constitutional rights to returning citizens, consider donating to either of the organizations above. If you’d like to chat with us more about this issue, we’re always up for it.