We are asking for help paying for the release of kids held in cells. Baltimore is keeping children in solitary confinement before they even have a trial, solely because the guards are sick or are calling out due to the virus. In many cases, pretrial release can only come by paying for your own home release costs. These violent fees are not accessible for everyone.
We are faced with the horrifying certainty that our jails are spreading COVID-19 in rates we cannot imagine. Currently, the number of cases in institutions is grossly underreported due to lack of access to tests and lack of transparency overall.
This week we have secured release for 14 people, but hundreds remain locked up. If you are able to donate, funds will be spent towards pretrial home detention costs. Ten dollars a day can free someone from being packed in a cage as the virus rapidly spreads. Every donation helps and contributes to someone’s safety.
How we got here:
Baltimore Action Legal Team (BALT) has been operating a “bail fund” for about five years. In times of crisis, we receive donations and post as many bails as possible. We began posting bails as the COVID-19 crisis began. However, as we began seeing fewer low level bails, we began assisting with home detention costs. As word began spreading, calls for assistance began increasing, to up to ten per day. While BALT recognizes the economic violence home detention poses, we also recognize how dangerous conditions currently are within institutions. In an effort to mitigate financial burden, we aim to raise money in order to release individuals to home detention, easing the financial stress where this may have been impossible without. We also hope to connect individuals with resources upon release such as housing and food security, and drug and alcohol treatment for those that are interested.