Everyday an average of 700,000 people are locked away like animals in a cage. These incarcerated individuals are soon left to be away from their families and surrounded by others in the same situation. According to Mama’s Bail Out Day webpage, black women are twice as likely to be in jail opposed to their white counter partners.
It has been reported that one in five transgender women have spent time prison and jail. Eight in ten of the women are mothers and most of them are in local jails and prisons for crimes they have not committed or been convicted of.
For the simple fact that many of these women are incarcerated because they cannot post bail, a black lives matter group decided that these mothers could not spend mothers day in jail.
“The money bail system in this country is unjust and punishes people for being poor,” Serena Sebring of Southerners on New Ground, a queer-focused social justice group, explained.
The BLM groups came together to raise $550,000 to bail out black women all across the US, with $345,000 going directly to bail money and the rest going to things like temporary housing or beauty appointments so that the mothers were able to feel human again for their day.
The groups spent a lot of time reading the roster and names of women located in the jail and prison systems. Writing letters to each of them, the BLM groups asked the women if they were caregivers or mothers.
They also worked with clergy within the jails in order to determine what women were mothers and who would benefit most from being bailed out.
“We’re working with local public defenders, folks in the court system, service providers and families,” said Scott Roberts, senior criminal justice campaigns director at Color of Change. “If there are criteria, that’s determined on the local level.”
“We’re trying to go above and beyond to make sure they feel cared for and loved,” said Ashley Green, lead organizer of social justice network the Dream Defenders in Florida. “We’re taking them to get their hair done, their nails done, we’re making sure they have a clear place to stay, transportation to and from jail.”