The cash bail system reinforces class divisions through wealth discrimination by detaining people living in poverty on bonds they cannot possibly pay. When a person is able to return to a place of shelter and security from pre-trial detention, they are then able to continue working, paying bills, and/or providing for their family.
Cash bail is ineffective in ensuring that people will return to court for the conclusion of their cases; most people return to court regardless of whether or not bail was set at all. Many of those in pre-trial detention feel pressure to take a plea deal to get out earlier rather than go to trial, even if they would normally plead not guilty to the charges. Many, if they stay in detention, will eventually have their cases dismissed anyway. The Forsyth County Community Bail Fund is committed to leveling the criminal justice playing field at least a little and bailing out as many people as possible until the bail system is reformed or abolished.
We’ve had to get operational far faster than we expected. In response to the pandemic we’ve focused on lowering the amount of people in the jail as much as we can. In response to the civil unrest sparked by the murder of George Floyd, we’re determined to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter and abolitionist movements by paying the bail of those arrested while protesting.