National Mama’s Bail Out Day
The week before Mother’s day, a collection of over a dozen local base building and national organizations will bail out as many mothers as possible, who without our support would spend Mother’s Day in a cell because they are unable to afford bail. The National Mama’s Bail Out Day will give incarcerated mothers an opportunity to spend Mother’s Day with their families, highlight the impact of inhumane and destructive bail practices on our communities and support the base-building of local organizations working with communities on the frontlines of mass incarceration.
In eight to ten locations local base building organizations will work with public defenders, impacted communities, and faith and spiritual institutions to bail out as many mothers as possible the week before Mother’s Day. Organizations will also plan a homecoming and/or teach-in to support those released and raise community awareness about the need to end money bail through storytelling, politicizing and relationship building. Non-participating locations will be invited to do parallel community and educational actions and join us via social media.
In advance of the National Mama’s Bail Out Day, we will be fundraising nationally and locally to not only raise funds, but awareness, through videos that highlight the impact of bail on mothers and caregivers. These videos will be housed on a website that will serve as resource and campaign hub for local bail and canvassing efforts.
It is estimated that everyday an average of 700,000 people are separated from their families and condemned to cages simply because they can not afford to pay bail. In addition to the over $9 billion wasted to incarcerate folks who have been convicted of no crime, pre-trial incarceration has catastrophic impacts on families and communities. This action will highlight the human costs of money bail and will leverage our collective power and resources to bail mother’s out of jail so they can spend Mother’s Day with their families and communities.
This idea, which came from the organization Southerners on New Ground (SONG), reflects a growing movement to end mass criminalization and modern bondage. This action is an opportunity to highlight the need for bail reform, elevate the human costs of incarceration on communities and families, support mothers (both birth, trans and other women who mother) who are entangled in the criminal legal system and raise community awareness about this issue.