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Nonprofit 'The Bail Project' is disrupting the bail system

Posted at 6:27 PM, Nov 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-22 18:58:49-05

CLEVELAND — To date, Cleveland’s branch of The Bail Project said it has bailed out 121 clients from the Cuyahoga County Jail. Of them, 94% have returned to court, and 33% of those cases have been dismissed.

Kareem Henton and Anthony Body said they are "bail disruptors" for the nonprofit organization.

“One day, you can lose housing, lose a job, if you don’t have a strong support system, you can possibly lose custody of your children,” said Body. “If you were to spend six months in jail, 30 days even, you would plead guilty [to charges] that you may not even be guilty of - just to get back home to your children.”

Body and Henton ensure clients return to court. They also connect them to wraparound services.

“Housing, education, jobs, cell phones, treatment, in patient or outpatient if you have an addiction,” said Body.

According to its webpage, The Bail Project is a national revolving bail fund that provides free bail assistance to low-income individuals who are legally presumed innocent, and whom a judge has deemed eligible for release before trial contingent on paying bail.

Adalia Flores said her “boyfriend stole credit cards."

Flores said she didn’t know her boyfriend had stolen credit cards, but since she was with him, she was incarcerated. At the time, he was eight months pregnant.

Flores said she was put on “a floor of pregnant women - a whole floor of pregnant women."

Body and Henton paid $750, which was 10 percent of Flores’ total bond. Her case is pending.

The Bail Project is accepting donations.