Jay Z Pledges To Bail Out Incarcerated Dads For Father’s Day

Every day, nearly 700,000 people are held in jail because they are unable to afford bail.

Jay Z announced this week he was joining forces with activist groups to help bail out fathers who are unable to afford their own bail in an effort to reunite those parents with their kids on Father's Day. Through an editorial that appeared in Time, the rapper and father praised the work of groups such as Southerners on New Ground and Color of Change, two organizations responsible for raising $250,000 to bail out moms this past Mother's Day.

"If you're from neighborhoods like the Brooklyn one I grew up in, if you're unable to afford a private attorney, then you can be disappeared into our jail system simply because you can't afford bail," he wrote. "Millions of people are separated from their families for months at a time — not because they are convicted of committing a crime, but because they are accused of committing a crime."

One in 9 Black children has an incarcerated parent. Every day, nearly 700,000 people, on average, are held in jail without a conviction because they are unable to afford bail

"There are people incarcerated for no other reason than they can't afford to purchase their freedom," Scott Roberts, senior campaign director for criminal justice at Color of Change, told The Root. "One of our goals is to get households out of cages, person by person, and at the same time using this as an opportunity to educate people about how destructive our money bail system is and how it impacts Black lives."

This weekend, a coalition of organizations will be working in Birmingham, Ala.; Miami; Memphis Tenn.; and Montgomery, Ala., as part of the Father's Day Bail Out. Jay Z wrote in Time that he became "obsessed" with the bail bond industry while working on the docuseries Time: The Kalief Browder Story, about a man who spent three years in solitary confinement on Rikers Island because his family was unable to afford bond

"As a father with a growing family, it's the least I can do, but philanthropy is not a long fix, we have to get rid of these inhumane practices altogether," Jay Z wrote. 


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