The Mass Bail Fund is looking for additional volunteers to post bail for prisoners at the Bristol County jail. There will be a meeting in Dartmouth in November for those with time to do this important work. Posting bail is also the perfect volunteer gig for people willing to put some of their privilege to good use. Call or text me at 508-341-7481 or email David Ehrens at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
The Mass Bail Fund doesn’t post bail of more than $500. A substantial percentage of those in county jails have not been convicted of a crime but cannot meet even a small bail amount. Click here for more information on how the Bail Fund works — but here’s the short version. You’ll get a call at an inconvenient hour. And when you show up to bail out your client, the Bristol County Jail will make you jump through more hoops than most; you’ll have to wait, come back later, or go to a different location. You’ll front the money for the Bail Fund, drive the client off the jail premises, and get your money back from the Bail Fund in roughly a week.
Anybody is welcome to volunteer, but if you’re older, whiter and a member of a religious organization you will magically get better results for your client. You’ll be doing your part to reduce mass-incarceration right in your own community.
Consider this. The inability to post bail can make a prisoner:
- more likely to lose their children to DSS
- more likely to lose their job, plunging their family deeper into poverty
- more likely to plead guilty just to get out of abusive conditions
- more likely to receive harsher sentences because of the inability to easily access legal resources
- more likely to be found guilty