Special coverage in the Trump Era

From Public Citizen's Corporate Presidency site: "44 Trump administration officials have close ties to the Koch brothers and their network of political groups, particularly Vice President Mike Pence, White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney."

Dark Money author Jane Mayer on The Dangers of President Pence, New Yorker, Oct. 23 issue on-line

Can Time Inc. Survive the Kochs? November 28, 2017 By
..."This year, among the Kochs’ aims is to spend a projected four hundred million dollars in contributions from themselves and a small group of allied conservative donors they have assembled, to insure Republican victories in the 2018 midterm elections. Ordinarily, political reporters for Time magazine would chronicle this blatant attempt by the Kochs and their allies to buy political influence in the coming election cycle. Will they feel as free to do so now?"...

"Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America" see: our site, and George Monbiot's essay on this key book by historian Nancy MacLean.

Full interview with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer March 29, 2017, Democracy Now! about her article, "The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer Exploited America’s Populist Insurgency."

Democracy Now! Special Broadcast from the Women's March on Washington

The Economics of Happiness -- new version

Local Futures offers a free, shortened version of its award-winning documentary film The Economics of Happiness. This 19-minute abridged version "brings us voices of hope of in a time of crisis." www.localfutures.org.

What's New?

May 16, 2017

Black Mamas Bailout Day: home for Mother's Day

“Money kept them in. Black love got them out.”
— Pat Hussain, Co-founder of Southerners on New Ground

graphic: Southerners on New Ground

Action for freedom on Mother's Day and beyond:
see Mama's Bail Out Day: https://nomoremoneybail.org/  (source of quotes below) and Democracy Now! coverage: On Black Mama's Bail Out Day, "Goal is to Free Our People from These Cages" Before Mother's Day 

"The week before Mother’s day organizations in Oakland, Los Angeles, St. Petersburg, Montgomery, Memphis, Minneapolis, Durham, Atlanta and beyond will bail out as many mothers as possible who otherwise would spend Mother’s Day in a cell simply because they cannot afford bail...

The impact of money bail on our Mamas…

Everyday an average of 700,000 people are condemned to cages and separated from their families simply because they cannot afford to pay bail. Since 1980 the number of incarcerated women has grown by 700%. Black women and Trans women are especially vulnerable to incarcerated. Black women are twice as likely as their white counterparts to be jailed. One in five transgender women have spent time in prison or jail and one in three of them reported being sexually assaulted while there.

Eight in ten incarcerated women are mothers and nearly half are in local jails, locked in cages for crimes they have not been convicted of. Most of the women in jail are accused of minor drug and ‘quality of life’ offenses and are languishing in cells simply because they cannot afford to pay bail.

In addition to the over $9 billion wasted to incarcerate people who have been convicted of no crime, pre-trial incarceration has catastrophic impacts on families and communities. Even a few days in jail can ruin a woman’s life. She may lose her job, her family may lose their housing and some even lose their children."



The groups involved in the Mama’s Bail Out are committed to ending modern day bondage and mass incarceration. We believe that the end of money bail is one small, but critical step, to our collective liberation.

We are demanding that decision makers take steps to end the use of money bail by:

At the local level:

City councils and county commissions should pass legislation that provides automatic release for all municipal offenses, divests from contracts with corporations that provide pre-trial services and/or own detention centers and establish and invest in a fund for community organizations who provide pretrial services.

District Attorneys should use their discretion to limit the use of money bail by:

  • Establishing an office wide policy that prosecutors will not ask for bail in cases involving misdemeanors and low level felonies.
  • Declining to prosecute school related offenses and allocate funding to restorative and transformative justice practices aimed at children.
  • Supporting any local or statewide bail reform efforts.
  • Refusing to take campaign donations from the bail bonds industry.

Judges should use their discretion to reduce the use of money bail by:

  • Chief Judges should issue a rule change, or initiative a vote, that alters the commonly used bail schedule to reduce reliance on money bail.
  • Chief Judges should incentivize the use of other forms of bail through a rule change making the use of money bail onerous and making the use of alternatives forms of bail easier.
  • Judges should scrutinize upcharging and make bail adjustments when prosecutors or police have overcharged people.

Local actors should support data collection on local bond practices.

At the state level:

  • Pass comprehensive bail reform that reduces or eliminates the use of money bail and bail schedules or minimums, implements mandatory cite and release for misdemeanors, expands non-monetary release options, includes funding and framework for pre-trial services and restorative non-punitive services, strengthens speedy trial provisions, dedicates funds to improving jail conditions and increases funding for indigent defense services.
  • Provide legal representation for immigrants involved in immigration cases.
  • Support statewide data collection on bond practices.

At the federal level:

  • The federal government can incentivize the end of money bail by withholding federal funds to courts and law enforcement agencies in jurisdictions that continue to use money bail. Last year the “No Money Bail Act” was introduced in the House of Representatives, which does exactly that.
  • Mandate national data collection on bond practices.
  • When determining immigration bonds judges should use their discretion to release immigrants on their own recognizance. When judges do set bond they should consider the financial situation of the respondent before setting the bond amount.