Options for Mother’s Day gifts are endless, but for most mothers, the gift of time with their children is priceless. Thanks to the National Bail Out Collective and their Black Mamas Bail Out project, over one hundred mothers who otherwise would have been in jail, are spending time with their kids.
According to their website, “the National Bail Out Collective coordinates the Mamas Day Bail Outs, where we bail out as many Black Mamas and caregivers as we can so they can spend Mother’s Day with their families where they belong!”
Tens of thousands of women are incarcerated in jails across the United States for non-violent offenses and the only reason they aren’t awaiting trial from the comfort of their homes instead of a jail cell is because they can’t afford bail. Something that disproportionately impacts people from marginalized communities.
ABC News shared the story of many Black mothers through Shalice Williams. Back in 2017, Williams was jailed for a probation violation and spent 42 days in a Baltimore jail because she couldn’t afford the $2,500 bail. What was the violation? It was a missed check-in with her parole officer. A check-in that was missed because she couldn’t bring her three children with her.
“The children are not allowed into the office, and so me not being able to show up with my kids was technically me not showing up,” Williams said.
Thankfully, Williams’ unfortunate experience coincided with the launch of the “Black Mamas Bail Out” project.
“It was a beautiful feeling, for people who did not know me, to come and get me out for Mother’s Day,” Williams told ABC News.
Two years later and the project has raised over $1 million dollars and helped release 300 people from pre-trial detention. With the money raised this year, ABC reports that their efforts helped bail out over 100 Black mothers across 35 cities this year.
In addition to bailing people out, the group remains connected with the individuals to help them rebound from the ramifications of lost time and wages due to incarceration. From helping them find jobs to arranging housing and transportation to reminding individuals of upcoming court appearances, they’re committed beyond the bail out.
“We recognize that our people have needs. We wanted to support our folks and we felt it was irresponsible to just bail folks out and be like, ‘Okay, cool! You’re bailed out. That’s it!” National Bail Out’s Arissa Hall told PEOPLE.
To find out more about National Bail Out of to donate visit nationalbailout.org.