Groups Hope to End Cash Bail System in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – Operation Restoration’s Safety and Freedom Fund, a fund dedicated to securing the release of incarcerated people by posting cash bail, announces its partnership with The Bail Project – a national nonprofit with a mission to combat mass incarceration and transform pretrial justice in the United States.

Cash bail creates a two-tier system of justice where the presumption of innocence is tied to an individual’s financial resources, forcing those who are poor to sit in jail because of their inability to pay bail or take guilty pleas and forfeit their right to trial. This inequality reinforces racial and economic disparities in the legal system and is responsible for most jail growth over the past two decades.

To combat these inequalities, the Safety and Freedom Fund and The Bail Project have teamed up to expand capacity to post bail for New Orleanians who cannot afford to post bail, while working to advance systemic change that ends money bail. The partnership between the Safety and Freedom Fund and The Bail Project will include capital, supplementary technical assistance and case management support, as the number of people incarcerated before trial continues to increase across the nation.

“There is no better time to focus on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that every person has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. We are thrilled to be able to increase support for New Orleanians through our partnership with The Bail Project,” said Montrell Carmouche, who leads Operation Restoration’s Safety and Freedom Fund. “During this pandemic and time of political unrest, incarcerated people need our help now more than ever. Freedom should not come at a cost.”

Ashley White of The Bail Project – Baton Rouge said, “It is an honor to partner in this freedom effort with Montrell and team. Louisiana has the nation’s second highest incarceration rate, in no small part because of the number of people our state incarcerates before trial. We’re excited to be serving our communities with bail assistance while also demonstrating what community-based support can do as an alternative to pretrial incarceration.”

In addition to providing bail assistance, the Safety and Freedom Fund and The Bail Project connect people to social services and any additional support they might need while their cases are pending. Click here to support Operation Restoration’s Safety and Freedom Fund.


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