Black Love, Reflections from the Mama's Day Bailouts

For the second year in a row the National Bail Out Collective bailed out Mamas and caregivers, in all their varieties, to bring attention to the true costs of money bail and mass incarceration, and to get our people free! In the tradition of literally buying our people’s freedom, we are setting Black women and femmes free from the jaws of incarceration in time for Mother’s Day. This year nearly 6,5000 individuals gave over $440,000 allowing us to bail out more than 140 mothers!

National Mama’s Bail Out Day is a coordinated effort by the National Bail Out Collective, a formation of Black organizers, communicators and lawyers, who are committed to building a community based movement to end pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration. The collective consists of nearly two dozen local and regional base-building groups as well as four national organizations with specialties in  communication, digital organizing, cultural change and policy reform. Law for Black Lives serves as one of the co-coordinators of the formation and provides legal and technical assistance.

In addition to supporting bail outs the collective is working to advance critical policy changes and transform the systems that put our people in cages because they are poor, Black, unwell or in crisis. Over the last year the collective created the Transformative Bail Curriculum, a popular education training that roots our current bail reform efforts in a long history of abolition and the continued fight against mass criminalization. We collectively wrote “Until Freedom Comes: A comprehensive Bail Out Toolkit” that provides step by step instructions on how to plan and execute a bail out and bridge bail out actions to larger advocacy efforts. We also hosted a six-part webinar series about bail and bail reform.


The impact of money bail on Black families cannot be understated. Tonight tens of thousands of women will sleep in a cage, simply because they could not afford to pay bail. At least 80 percent of them are mothers and most of them are only guilty of being poor, unable to access health care, or being survivors. In fact, over 86% of incarcerated women have survived physical or sexual abuse and many will experience additional abuse while imprisoned in our local jails.

As a partner and co-coordinator of the National Bail Out Collective Law for Black Lives is honored to work with groups across the country who are opening cages and changing policies! If you want to learn more about the bailouts or support these important efforts follow national bail outs on facebook and Twitter and check out the website To join a local legal crew and support local efforts fill out our survey!

in Power,