This week on WCLK's The Local Take(Saturdays 8am), we continue our ongoing conversation on justice reform by highlighting the work of a non-profit, The Bail Project. The Bail Project is a national non-profit that provides free bail assistance to thousands of low-income people every year, reuniting families and restoring the presumption of innocence.
We’ve heard from people who’ve lost their jobs and homes due to not being able to pay bail. These people are not convicted criminals. They are just unable to pay bail for their release. Bail is considered a tool to ensure that people will return for their court date.
Lucretia Doyle has worked in and around the justice arena and, in 2020, became a Bail Disrupter for the national non-profit The Bail Project.
She shares that she first encountered the criminal justice system in support of her mother as a teenager. Doyle started a non-profit in her mother’s name to provide youth with incarcerated parents with book and summer camp scholarships.
I asked if the current system is now just the systemic lock-up of poor people. Doyle explains that is there are two systems. One for the haves and one for the have nots.
Doyle receives referrals from public defenders in DeKalb and Fulton counties. There is also an office in Augusta. She explains that they meet with their clients and provide support from partner organizations and volunteers. They pay the full bail amount to gain the release of their clients. Their model is Community Release with Support. Doyle describes this as a holistic approach to provide their clients with resources, employment, housing, and more.
The Bail Project is a revolving fund. Once one client has their bail returned, the money goes back into a fund to help their next client. Doyle says they are always looking for partners, donors, and volunteers. They also offer paid internships to people interested in learning how bail is a systemic tool against poor people.
For more information on The Bail Project
For more information on Lucretia Doyle
See some of the people helped by The Bail Project