How will this be accomplished?
- The Mass Bail Out begins on October 1, 2018.
- We're organizing hundreds of volunteers to execute the Mass Bail Out. Volunteers will post bail at any one of NYC’s four bail windows located at jails throughout the city, provide support to our on-call response unit to assist those transitioning back to their communities, as well as participate in future events including rallies, town halls, and court watching actions.
- The Mass Bail Out will initially focus on women caged at the Rose M. Singer Center (RMSC) jail on Rikers Island as well as the youth caged at the Robert N. Davoren Complex (RNDC) jail.
Who is leading this effort?
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is providing the administrative support and coordinating a broad coalition of partners with direction and support from JustLeadershipUSA, Revolve Impact, Think Rubix, Vera Institute of Justice, VOCAL, and The Bail Project. Other partners include formerly incarcerated people and their families, service provider organizations with experience working with women and youth, community-based organizations, public defenders, activists, organizers, volunteers, and social workers, among others.
Is the Mass Bail Out connected to other bail out actions and bail funds around the country?
- The Mass Bail Out action is inspired by leaders and movements who, for hundreds of years, have fought to free people from enslavement and mass incarceration. Historically bail out actions and community bail funds have been utilized by the Civil Rights movements to free protestors and civil rights leaders; by the LGBTQIA movement to protect their communities unfairly targeted by the police; by Black liberation movement organizers from Chicago to Philadelphia; and by faith-based and community organizations across the country.
- Over the last decade many new local community bail funds, including charitable bail organizations in New York, have formed around the country to free thousands of people from unjust pretrial incarceration. In the last couple of years, actions like the Black Mama’s Bailouts, the Believers Bail Out, and the Faith in Texas Black August Bail Out have used bail out actions to free people and mobilize support.
Are bail outs a solution to wealth-based detention? Won’t the jails just fill back up after this action is over?
- Bail out actions, community bail funds, and other temporary actions to free people are not solutions. They are interventions that have become necessary on the road to long-term structural change to end pretrial detention.
- There is never a wrong time to reunite people who have been separated from their families, loved ones, and communities.
- The Mass Bail Out is an opportunity for us to look at the criminal legal system as a whole -- to reimagine as a society how decarceration is in fact possible, and that it is possible right now.
What does this action seek to accomplish?
This action will accomplish three main things:
- Actualize justice for individuals and communities that have been denied full access to freedom simply because they could not afford to be free.
- Highlight communities often left out of the criminal justice narrative, including children, women, LGBTQIA, and differently-abled persons.
- Build broader support for much needed structural reforms by imagining freedom as one accessible to all. This includes exploring how we invest in communities, and also how we divest from harmful practices known to deepen disparities and create a permanent second class reality for communities of color and those experiencing poverty.