Free Bail: It’s Not Always What It Appears
With the unrest after George Floyd’s death in 2020 came more discussion about those who are placed in jail.
Protestors being arrested, as well as larger discussions about poverty and race, brought more awareness toward organizations like the Minnesota Freedom Fund. The Minnesota Freedom Fund pays the bail of people who are incarcerated. It’s a silent gesture to help those who cannot otherwise afford to pay their cash bail bonds, whether in jail suspected of a crime or for immigration status.
Supporters say this helps release inmates from jail — inmates who may be wrongly accused and are often poor or people of color. People who are rich can make bail much quicker, while those who stay in jail awaiting bond are forced to either risk their jobs and livelihoods, or take out a cash bond that puts them in debt.
We don’t disagree that those who are behind bars tend to be disproportionately people of minority status. Many may even be wrongfully jailed. That’s why our mission is to help every inmate who comes to us for help. We want you to fight your case from the outside, go to work and be a functioning member of society while awaiting your case. We even offer payment plans, so that no one is faced with one large burden the minute they step outside of the jail cell.
Paying someone’s bail with no strings attached comes with consequences. With no accountability to make their court date, the next time an inmate will come in contact with the court system may be the next time they commit a crime. While helping those who live in poverty get out of jail comes from a place of compassion, we’ve found that it doesn’t help to stop recidivism — and that should always be our shared goal.
We’ve seen this play out in real life. In early 2020, the state of New York did away with cash bail. However, suspects being released from jail were seen to commit new crimes almost immediately. One woman was even accused of an anti-Semitic attack in New York City shortly after another arrest, according to the article linked above.
We know there are problems in the criminal justice system at the systematic level. However, we can’t change America’s criminal justice system. What we can do is counsel the inmates we get to work with and show compassion to each person we get to help. The most rewarding aspect in this line of work are the conversations we get to have with the people we get to serve every day. We go home knowing that we were able to help someone at the darkest point in their lives.
At the end of the day, a bail bond is high-risk insurance. We’re not evil collectors who take advantage of inmates. We’re people who get out of bed every day to help our clients and help serve our community.
If your family member or loved one is in jail and needs a Minnesota bail bond, let’s talk about how we can help you. Contact us and we’ll help you.