Black Lives Matter and other groups raise money to bail women out of jail before Mother’s Day

Criminal Justice

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Several groups have been raising money to bail black women out of jail so they can spend Mother’s Day with their families.

The idea for “National Mama’s Bail Out Day” originated with the Atlanta-based, LGBTQ nonprofit Southerners On New Ground, report The Nation, Phoenix New Times and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Women in pretrial detention are being bailed out of jail in 16 cities across the country in advance of Mother’s Day on Sunday.

Other groups participating include Black Lives Matter, the Movement for Black Lives, ColorOfChange, Healing Hearts of Families USA Ministries, the National Domestic Workers Alliance and SisterSong.

The idea springs from freed slaves raising money to buy their relatives’ freedom before the Civil War ended.

Southerners on New Ground co-director Mary Hooks spoke at a fundraiser on Thursday, according to the Journal-Constitution. “Many of the women being stuffed into cages right now are in for minor, low-level offenses,” she said. “It’s time for us to divest from police, jails and courts and invest in our communities.”

Black women are imprisoned at higher rates. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 30 percent of all incarcerated women in the United States are black, although they make up only 13 percent of the female population.

The groups are also considering a bailout day for Father’s Day.

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