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On today's episode, Kumars and returning guest host Mariame Kaba sit down with two movement lawyers at the forefront of the struggle against bail and pre-trial detention. Sharlyn Grace is a lawyer and co-founder of the Chicago Community Bond Fund. Marbre Stahly-Butts is a lawyer and organizer with Law for Black Lives and the Movement for Black Lives Policy Table, and was involved in the recent Black Mamas Bailout. Sharlyn and Marbre cover the basics of money bail in the US and the bail bond industry it sustains. They explain recent efforts on the state and local levels to win reforms to the current bail system, as well as the limitations of some legislative efforts that attempt to undermine the institution of money bail. We discuss the Bail Project, a national effort to bail people out of jail that is funded by big-money donors with unclear motivations and limited connections to the communities they claim to want to help. Mariame warns that this effort, while sounding nice, could starve the several dozen existing community bail funds of donations, despite the fact that these existing organizations are better positioned to build power and provide long-term support to those they serve.
You can follow Mariame on twitter as always at @prisonculture. Follow Sharlyn at @SharlynDGrace, and the Chicago Community Bond Fund at @ChiBondFund. Marbre isn't on twitter, but you can follow Law for Black Lives at @Law4BlackLives. If you want to support the Chicago Community Bond Fund, you can do so here, and you can support the National Bail Fund, the coalition behind the Black Mamas Bailout and similar efforts, here. We didn't have time to discuss it on the episode, but you should also check out @Appolition, a really awesome way to donate to the National Bail Fund.
A transcript for this episode is forthcoming. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.