Denver Black Mamas Bail Out.

DENVER, CO.  UPDATE: Thanks to your generosity, on May 10, 2018 we posted 11 bonds totaling $9,670 to bail 9 Mamas out of 4 jails. Many women are still waiting for our help in order to rejoin their families before Mother’s Day, so we still need your support to reach our goal of freeing 20 Mamas. [Donate here.] On we press!On May 1, 2018, Colorado organizers with the Denver Justice Project (DJP) and Black Lives Matter 5280 (BLM) launched Black Mamas Bail Out, an ambitious campaign to free as many Mamas from Denver area jails as possible in time for Mother’s Day, 2018. On May 10, after 9 days of intense efforts to raise funds and awareness, we began posting bonds to free women from Denver area jails. Our focus is on Black, Brown, and Indigenous Mamas, but we never limited the scope of our effort by Race.

On this first day of actually bailing out Black Mamas, we were at the jails for over 17 hours; from 7:00am to past midnight we posted 11 bonds for 9 women. DJP + BLM organizers and legal volunteers were humbled to be able to personally welcome 2 women warmly as they rejoined us on the outside; as of midnight May 10, 2018-7 of the 9 women whose bonds we posted were still awaiting release, although bonds had been posted in some cases more than 12 hours earlier.

We provided period kits and RTD light rail/bus transit passes courtesy of our friends at JeffCo CAN and I Support the Girls, and we gave the women car rides to their destination: one went to a day shelter and was connected with a licensed therapist who is helping her begin the jarring reunion with the un-caged world after five months in jail; the second woman went to her mother’s home-another mother thrilled to be reunited with her family before Mother’s Day.

On our first day of posting bonds, we paid $9,670 cash for bonds + fees (Jefferson, Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas all charge $10 bonding fees; Douglas charges an additional $30 jail fee) to buy 9 women’s freedom from 4 of 5 Front Range Colorado county jails. Some of the women we located via searching online public inmate databases, others were referred to us by their dedicated public defenders:

  1. Douglas, CO: bailed out 2 Black women (2 bonds, $1,580);
  2. Arapahoe, CO: bailed out 5 women including an Afro-Latina mama being held on a Jefferson, CO charge (7 bonds, total $6,070);
  3. Adams, CO: posted bonds for 2 Black women (2 bonds, $2,020).

On Day 2 of bond-posting (May 11, 2018) we will begin to post bonds at the Front Range jail that cages the most people: Denver Downtown Detention Center, and we will continue posting bonds in the surrounding counties as financial resources permit.

Thank you to everyone who donated, gave of their time, provided supplies, spread the word, referred clients, offered rides, media who interviewed and covered our efforts…thank you to everyone who has helped us in this endeavor.

Our Colorado-based Mother’s Day Bail Out was inspired by Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler and Brother Jeff Fard, and motivated by our friends with the National Bail Out Collective, who assisted with everything from logistical support to powerful imagery (like the beautiful flyer above).

We will work to finally end the exploitative, racist, unjust cash bond/bail system. Until we abolish money bail, we will continue to buy each others freedom as Black people and abolitionists have been doing since America’s earliest days. Please help us reach our goal of raising $20,000 and posting bonds to free 20 Mamas by Mother’s Day [Donate today.]

In solidarity, DJP + BLM5280

Denver, CO: Mama’s Day Bail Out 2018

Denver, CO: Thur. May 10 – Sun. May 13, Colorado organizers and activists will post cash bonds to free Black Women being held in Denver area jails on low dollar amount bonds, in time for Mother’s Day 2018.

image via nomoremoneybail.org
Mama’s Day Bail Out is part of a national movement to end cash bail in the United States. The Colorado action is coordinated by the Denver Justice Project and Black Lives Matter 5280, in solidarity with activists nationwide committed to collective liberation. Our focus is on Black women and mothers trapped in the unjust system of pay-to-play civil liberties.

In years past, individuals in Denver rallied to free Black Mamas from jail; 2018 marks a coordinated collaboration among organizations to free as many Black Women as possible. We were inspired by Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler and Brother Jeff Fard, who bailed Black Mamas out of Denver jail in May 2017, and who were gracious enough to let us carry that work forward when we approached them for their blessing in 2018.

Our goal is to raise at least $20,000 and to free at least 20 women-potentially more, depending on who is in custody May 9-13, 2018 and what bond amounts are holding them. The bonds we will post generally range from $100 to $1,000 and will be paid in full in cash, not using bondsmen. When Women appear for their court dates, eventually their bonds are released, posted bonds will be returned to DJP/BLM and 100% of the returned bonds will then be reallocated to Black Dad’s Bail Out in time for Father’s Day, June 2018.

This Mother’s Day we ask you to give what you can, in dollars or attention, to this campaign. Countless advocates in cities across the United States are working tirelessly to end the exploitative cash bail system. Donate today!

Donate now to help us #FreeBlackMamas!

Donate now to help free Black Mamas from Denver Jail!

Let’s give! 100% of funds received will go directly to posting bonds of Black women jailed in Denver. Bonds will be posted before and until Mother’s Day, May 13, 2018. {{Click here to donate.}}

Why a Bail Out? Everyday hundreds of thousands of people in America, disproportionately many of them Black women, are confined to cages because they cannot afford to post bail/bond. (Spirit of Change) Women held in Denver’s jail on bond have not been convicted of the crimes for which they were arrested. We must end this punitive pre-trial confinement.

Why now? In the week before Mother’s Day, organizations and individuals in dozens of American cities will bail out as many mothers as possible, women who otherwise would spend Mother’s Day in a cage because they cannot afford bail/bond. Black Mama’s Bail Out Day will give incarcerated mothers an opportunity to spend Mother’s Day with their families instead of in a jail cell.

Why Black Women? Women of color are significantly over-represented in the criminal justice system. Black women represent 30% of all incarcerated women in the U.S, although they represent only 13% of the the general population of women. (ACLU) Black women are twice as likely as their white counterparts to be jailed, and are less likely to be able to buy their way out of jail.

Why Mothers? While our focus is on the women in jail, we know that among women state prisoners, some 80% are mothers and two-thirds are mothers of a minor child. (ACLU) Most women in jail are also mothers of minor children, children often kept from their mothers due to a relatively minor bond.

When our Black Mamas are locked in cages, our families and communities suffer. Until we abolish bail and mass incarceration, we must free ourselves.” (adapted from SONG)

Denver Mama’s Day Bail Out : Frequently Asked* Questions

 

What is a “Bail Out”?

  • Denver’s Black Mama’s Bail Out is one action of many in a nationwide campaign to end money bail and to bail/bond Black Women out of jail. For this specific action, our goal is to free as many Black women as possible in time for Mother’s Day, Sun. May 13, 2018. Learn more about the National Bail Out Collective: https://nomoremoneybail.org/.

Who is organizing this Bail Out?

  • Organizers with the Denver Justice Project (DJP: facebook/twitter) + Black Lives Matter 5280 (BLM: facebook/twitter) — are coordinating Denver’s Mama’s Bail Out 2018. Community members and local advocates, and volunteers are the human power behind this collaborative effort.

How can I help free Black Women from Denver jail?

  • Please donate here: https://fundly.com/mother-s-day-bail-out-2018. While money is critical, it is not the only gift that matters. Please give of your time and attention by sharing this giving link with your friends, family, and wider networks.

I don’t use Fundly. Is there another way I can donate to the Bail/Bond fund?

  • Yes! You can donate online via Paypal or Square Cash:
    • Donate to Black Bail Out, via PayPal.
    • Donate to Black Bail Out, via Square Cash.
    • Note: The PayPal/Square Cash accounts are in the name of Elisabeth Epps, a Co-Lead with the Denver Justice Project, who is the administrator of the Black Bail Out account. Please include a note such as “Mom’s Day” or “bail”, or otherwise comment indicating that the donation is for the Bail Out.
  • One thing we really like about Fundly is that it allows us to manually update the Fundraiser to include donations given offline or otherwise not through Fundly. Every donation to the Mother’s Day action made by cash/check/Paypal etc. is reflected in the overall Fundly donation total.

I’m not in/near Denver, CO. Is there a Mother’s Day Bail Out in my city or town?

  • We hope so, and if there isn’t, we hope you’ll start one. National Bail Out has links to many cities that hosted Bail Outs in years past, and they also have an incredibly thorough Toolkit that you can download to coordinate a Bail Out in your city.

What is the difference between bail and bond?

  • It depends on who is using the term, and where. For purposes of this action, we are using “bail” and “bond” interchangeably, where the cash bail posted is synonymous with bond collateral.

My relative/friend/client is in jail on a bond they can’t post. Can you post it?

  • We can try! Please email ee@BlackBailOut.org to refer a woman whose bond we can try to post. We are most interested in helping women who are least able to pay bond individually, and most over-represented in the system collectively. Our focus is on Black, Brown, and Indigenous women, as well as Trans Women of any race.

Can the Mama’s Day Bail Out post bond for someone outside of Denver?

  • In future actions we hope to post bonds in the greater Front Range, including potentially Arapahoe and Jefferson Counties. At this time however, our focus is on Denver County, specifically on freeing Black Women held in the Downtown Denver Detention Center.

What happens when the person bonded out attends their court date?

  • Once the woman bonded out appears in court and the court releases the bond, the bond will be returned to the individual who posted the bond. 100% of the returned funds will in turn be returned to the fund for June 2018 Dad’s Day Bail Out.

What happens if the person bonded out doesn’t meet their court date?

  • Consistent with nationwide data showing that the vast majority of respondents appear as scheduled for court dates, we expect the same in Denver. We also know that many of the same circumstances that made it hard for a person to post a bond as low as $50 are factors that can also complicate a person returning to court as scheduled. When a person is not able to make their court appearance or to schedule an alternate court date, and if the bond is forfeited, then the local court will retain the bond and it will not be returned to DJP/BLM.

What social safety net resources are in place for women after posting their bond?

  • Given the condensed time frame of this effort (launching 5/1/18, less than two weeks until 5/13/18) our primary effort is on maximizing resources to secure the release of as many Black Mamas as possible. We recognize the challenges many newly freed women will face and will help however we can to make their transition as smooth as possible.

Is Kanye West really in the sunken place? Will Yeezy be ok?

  • We don’t know. What we know is we love him and we are here for him and that College Dropout touched our souls.

*Were all these questions really ‘frequently asked’?

  • Some were asked; others were anticipated.

Money Kept Them In, Black Love Got Them Out