The Mass Bail Fund & Abolition Network Fundraiser & Celebration!
June 8 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Hey Western Mass! Mark your calendars, yell it from the rooftops – Saturday June 8th, come on by the Northampton Center for the Arts for an incredible silent auction filled with art made by local artists, grab some good free food, meet your neighbors, learn about prison abolition work and bail fund organizing happening in the valley, and give money to support the most marginalized people in our community. We can’t wait to learn more about bail fund organizing, redistribute resources, and enjoy some summer tunes with you all – bring your people and spread the word!
~~~More info on the Western Mass Bail Fund~~~
Did you know: If the system of cash bail ended right now, approximately 536,000 people in the U.S. would not be in jail tonight (Prison Policy Initiative, 3/18).
Cash bail exists simply to ensure that people who have been arrested show up at their next court dates. People with money can afford bail and are released almost immediately. Poor defendants can’t afford bail, so the system simply holds them in jail until their case. This can take weeks, months, or even years.
The Western Mass Prison Abolition Network has helped to open a local bail fund with the Massachusetts Bail Fund (MBF) last June; that fund has meant release for about 20 people each month held on up to $500 bails in Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin Counties.
These defendants have not been proven guilty of any crime. In fact, over 50% of all Massachusetts Bail Fund clients have their cases dismissed. In a money bail system, those too poor to afford bail spend time in jail simply because they are poor.
Pretrial incarceration has disastrous impacts on the lives of the incarcerated.
This is exactly why it is not only important that we post bail for folks who can’t afford it, but also that we expand our services to provide ongoing care in whatever ways we can. Namely, we’re putting together support backpacks– filled with basic essentials like food, toiletries, and materials on where to find other aid/resources– for bail fund clients. We hope to ease people’s transitions back into daily life after such a significant, often traumatic, disruption.
Come celebrate a year of this local bail fund doing necessary, impactful work, and support the growth of this organizing in the next year!
Chair accessible, elevator in building, the room we’re in is closest to the side entrance by the parking lot. Room is on ground level closest to parking lot side entrance, microphones used, two accessible gender-neutral multi-stall bathrooms. Please come as fragrance free as possible; unscented soap provided. Transportation available from bus route B43 or 39 or post in this page to coordinate rides!
Questions, concerns, collaborations, donations? Don’t hesitate to message one of the hosts!