Our Voices

CBS: Activists Rush to Bail Out People in Jails Across the Country Amid Coronavirus Threat

As experts warn how quickly the coronavirus can spread inside jails, community bond funds are working overtime to free people from pretrial detention and looking to outside organizations to help ramp up their efforts.

One of these groups is Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. The organization announced it will be providing extra financial assistance to community bond funds during the pandemic in the hopes of releasing as many people as possible before they’re needlessly exposed to the virus.

It’s estimated that some 450,000 people are incarcerated simply because they’re unable to afford their bail payment, highlighting a stark wealth inequality and now a public health threat.

“We don’t want to be in the position of having to purchase people’s freedom,” said Sharlyn Grace, the executive director of the Chicago Community Bond Fund. “The ongoing use of money bonds is creating different justice systems for people with access to money and people without access to money.”

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