The national effort was called National Black Mamas Bail Out Day, and seeks to reunite women with their families and raise awareness of the impact of incarceration and the bail system on black women. Black Lives Matter raised more than $500,000 via an online fundraising campaign in their efforts to get moms out of jail for Mother’s Day.
These women are in jail not because they’ve been convicted of a crime but because they can’t pay to get back to their lives as they await trial.
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More than 50 women were bailed from groups in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, Oakland, and 13 other cities. About $25,000 was set aside for use in each city with bail payoffs varying. Atlanta was able to bailed out 19 women while Oakland only bailed out 4.
Mother Jones reports that the number of women behind bars in the United States has increased 700 percent since 1980, according to the Sentencing Project. More than 100,000 women are currently in jail. Many have not been convicted of anything but are unable to make bail, and a disproportionate number of them are black. Eighty percent of incarcerated women are mothers, according to the Vera Institute of Justice.