Written by our Bail Subject Matter Experts, Updated on June 2, 2020
Our bail and legal experts weigh in on bail funds and charitable bail organizations by compiling a complete guide on how bail funds work, how you can donate, and help protesters and other jailed individuals, along with a live-updated list of bail funds you can reach out to for help or donations.
George Floyd protests and the need for bail funds
Update: June 2, 2020 – The recent tragedy surrounding George Floyd has sparked many protests nationwide. Protesters are being arrested and jailed in many situations. There is an extreme need and spike in interest for bail funds. Donations are an excellent way to support the cause. Please consider donating to the listed bail funds.
What are bail funds and charitable bail organizations?
Before getting into the topic of bail funds, it’s important to understand the critical issue many face after being jailed – the inability to pay for the bail amount set. While the option to take out a bail bond is possible for some, it is often not a realistic scenario for low-income individuals. Many are unable to cover the 10% bail premium that bondsmen charge to bail someone out of jail. As an example, if $10,000 is set as the bail amount, then $1,000 (10%) will be the bail fee that needs to be paid, and worst of all, it’s non-refundable no matter the outcome of the case.
To assist those who can’t afford the 10% bail fee, we are sharing some options that can help low-income families bail out their loved ones via the help of bail funds and charitable bail organizations.
Charitable bail funds, or other similarly termed free charity bail bond options, are a great option to explore in freeing individuals who otherwise would not have a way out of jail.
Before approaching bail funds, one should first go through the local jurisdiction to discuss lowering the set bail amount. A magistrate or judge can assess each individual case on the basis of low income to review and lower the set bail amount. After exhausting these options, the next step is to approach local charity bail funds to see if they can assist. A few nationwide bail funds also exist if there is no local fund in your area.
List of Bail Funds by State and City
We encourage anyone that needs financial help to reach out to these funds.
Those that are fortunate enough to have benefited from the funds or that have the resources to provide financial support, please contact the funds directly for a donation. It is a great cause as we strive to find the balance in supporting everyone during their time in need.
National Bail Fund Network
Haitian Immigrant Bail Program
Montgomery Bail Out Fund
BHAM Community Support Fund
*Only for Protesters
Tucson Second Chance Community Bail Fund
738 N 5th Ave, Ste 216
Bay Area Immigration Bond Fund – Statewide
ICIJ Bond Fund – Inland Empire
521 N Euclid Ave
San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium Borderlands Get Free Fund
P.O. Box 12266
San Diego, CA
Connecticut Bail Fund
New Haven, CT
Atlanta Solidarity Fund
Chicago Community Bond Fund
PO Box 479015
Chicago, IL 60647
Massachusetts Bail Fund
2161 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02140
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
195 Montague Street, 14th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
The Bronx Freedom Fund
360 East 161st Street
Bronx, NY 10451
Just City Memphis
Northwest Community Bail Fund
1245 10th Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98102
Charitable Bail Organization
The cost associated with a bail bond, even if it’s only 10% of the bond, can be too much to afford. In such a situation, helpless individuals are put in a situation where they are unable to leave jail until they are proven innocent in the court.
This creates a potential downward spiral for an individual and has spurred a bail reform movement. Someone that is unable to leave jail risks losing their job, school eligibility, and potential relationships. Is it a fair system? We at Bail Bonds Network think that the process is not always fair and want to help those in need of help that simply can’t afford the 10% bail bond fee. We want to help people before their lives get even more difficult than they already are.
The good news is that many people are starting to realize that a problem does exist. We have done extensive research to find options for those that are unable to afford the 10% bail bond fee. There are options, although still limited since it’s early in development. Charitable bail funds are being created to help cover the 10% fee so people can be released from jail and move forward with their life. The goal is to help avoid job loss and further set-back for those that are already in a difficult situation financially.
The charity bail funds that we discovered are paving a new way until more options are available. We are listing the bail funds on our website and highlighting them ahead of others because they stand for the right thing – people’s freedom and a fair shake for everyone. Funds are currently being explored in additional cities like St. Louis, Miami, Cincinnati, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Austin.
Numbers speak a thousand words. Our infographic on bail statistics shows just how much of an impact bail makes, and how trapped an individual can be if they are unable to get out of jail.
Bail funds to donate to
Each of the listed bail funds can be donated to. Please contact the respective bail funds or charitable bail organizations to make a contribution. Without the funds, these organizations are unable to operate, and the more donations that are contributed, the more they can assist. It’s a numbers game at this point.
We initially had just 7 bail funds listed on our page when the concept of charitable bail just began to take off in the Northeast and a few other areas. We now have more than 50 funds listed and a few operate at the national level. Let’s come together to continue this great trend.
Bail funds for protesters
Demand for help with bail spikes during times of protest and national instability. When combined with high unemployment rates, it becomes even worse. While jails are currently increasing the amount of personal recognizance (PR) bonds to combat the increase of arrests & Covid-19 implications, there is still a large number of protesters who are jailed and unable to be released on a PR bond.
Arrests dealing with protests can often come with a stiffer charge which automatically removes the free release option one is afforded via a PR bond. Each day someone is stuck in jail is an opportunity lost for that individual. There are employment, education, and family-related impacts that occur. As protesters fight for a good cause, it’s important that bail funds are adequately funded so they can support an increased demand and assist with the release of appropriate individuals.
A bounty hunter is hired by a bail bondsman to locate and arrest a person who does not show to court as agreed in their bail bond agreement. Bounty hunters are sometimes referred to as bail recovery agents.