For a handful of Philadelphia residents facing the prospect of Christmas in jail, two mass bailout initiatives in recent days — including one by the rapper and reform advocate Meek Mill — brought a welcomed surprise: the chance to get home for the holidays.
The Philadelphia Bail Fund and Philadelphia Community Bail Fund combined forces to run a 24-hour bail watch and bailout, posting bail for a dozen people. Meanwhile, Meek Mill paid bail to release five women in time for the holiday, according to the REFORM Alliance, and expected to bring home 15 more women over the coming week.
“No one should have to spend the holidays in jail simply because they can’t afford bail,” Mill said in a statement, “and no child should be without their parents during this time if we can do something about it.”
According to the Philadelphia Department of Prisons’ most recent report, nearly 1,300 of the 4,500 people incarcerated at the jails were held because they were awaiting trial and unable to post bail, or bail was denied or revoked. And more than 90% of those incarcerated were Black or Latino.
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