Hope all you moms out there have a wonderful day! I’m baking a cake right now and will see my family later on.
Recently on Twitter, I found the hashtag #FreeBlackMamas. It’s a movement to free black mothers from jail who are only there because they could not afford to pay bail.
This is truly unfair. Incarceration solely for the lack of money. Mama’s Bail Out Day is an offshoot of the Black Lives Matter movement. The people involved have been raising money with the help of other organizations and bailing out women all over the country in time to see their children for Mother’s Day.
The work will continue after Mother’s Day, but I think it’s a great start. Part of the inspiration was looking back at history. During slavery, free black people would raise money to buy the freedom of their relatives. #FreeBlackMamas is in the same tradition of buying freedom for our loved ones.
From what I have read, most of the women were charged with minor nonviolent offenses. A Rewire article, gives a glimpse into the bail system and how it has needlessly broken apart so many families.
Most of the people in local jails have NOT been convicted of a crime, but they don’t have the money to buy their freedom. So they languish away in jail.
An estimated 700,000 people are condemned every day to cages and separated from their families often simply because they cannot afford to pay bail.
Prison Policy’s research shows that between 60 and 70 percent of people held in local jails have not been convicted of a crime. U.S. Code §3142 permits individuals who have been charged of a crime to be held if the judicial officer believes that the person will not return for trial. However, the criterion is very vague and allows counties to have broad discretion over the terms of keeping someone detained. Sadly, these laws disproportionately affect Black people.
If you’re interested in reading more, here are three good articles below.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars has been raised, but there is a lot more work to do.