FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On any given day, nearly half a million people wait in jail cells across the country waiting for their criminal cases to move forward.
A major issue for many defendants is being able to afford bail for pre-trial release.
National data shows that 7 out of 10 of those defendants are people of color.
The non-profit “The Bail Project” is working to prevent incarceration and combat racial and economic disparities within the nation’s bail system.
“There’s people that are being punished before they even go to their trial. So what happens is they don’t have enough money to pay their bail like other people do and it disrupts their life, it disrupts them being able to go to their job, being able to provide for their children, and we see people collapse even more than they already were, because of that pause in their life,” Bail Disruptor Irvin Camacho said.
The program got its start one year ago in Northwest Arkansas and has already helped close to 300 people.
When people resolve their legal situation, the bail money is paid back to the fund and is used to assist other defendants.