Burlington group raising money to help low-level offense inmates post bail

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BURLINGTON, N.C. — A group in Alamance County says they don’t think the justice system is fair, so they’re finding a way to help some inmates post bail.

The Down Home North Carolina Group of the Piedmont says it’s fed up with the justice system.

“People who have money can afford to buy their freedom and if you don’t you’re going to be waiting in jail,” Jasmine Wright said. “Too many people are living paycheck to paycheck and they can’t afford to pay something as simple as $150 or $200.”

Wright helped organize the group and believes they can do something about it by using a bail fund. It would raise money to help people struggling financially to get loved ones out of jail.

“We know that disproportionately poor people are already living in poverty and they’re being targeted and faced with these situations,” Wright said.

With a goal of $5,000, they’ll pay the bail of selected candidates who have a low-level offense.

“We are identifying folks who have the bail below $2,000, who have strong community ties to Alamance County and a positive court appearance rate,” she said.

If an inmate shows up for their court date, the money will go back into the fund.

While Wright believes it’s a cycle of hope, others, like Anthony Broadway have their doubts.

“[Like driving revoked], driving with a license revoke maybe has a 90 percent failure rate,” he said.

He owns his own bail bond company and is worried that while the bail is free for people who need the help, it could be a cost to society.

“When people post bond there’s accountability. They had to put money in their pocket and somewhat care and they potentially don’t want to blow their money and miss court,” Broadway said. “Who is going to go out and get those people that we would potentially go out and get. The sheriff’s department? The local police department?”

So far the group has raised $905. They say they have donors willing to match any donations to help them reach their goal.

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