Brooklyn Community Bail Fund

Each day, countless New Yorkers accused of petty crimes are sent to Rikers Island. Convicted of nothing, they sit in jail because they cannot afford to post bail right away.

 

Description

BROOKLYN, NY – EIN 901014588  brooklynbailfund.org

Brooklyn Community Bail Fund secures the freedom of New Yorkers who would otherwise be detained pretrial due to their poverty alone. We are committed to challenging the criminalization of race, poverty and immigration status, the practice of putting a price on fundamental rights, and the persistent myth that bail is a necessary element of the justice system.

Leveraging our groundbreaking work as a charitable bail fund, BCBF joined with other community-based organizations, immigration advocates and legal services providers to form the New York Immigrant Freedom Fund program (NYIFF). Operated by BCBF, the NYIFF program secures the freedom of New Yorkers held in ICE detention who cannot afford to pay bond.

Ours is a radical intervention in a system that treats people differently based on wealth, skin color, immigration status and influence. Partnering with other community-based organizations to advocate for systems change, we’re challenging the criminalization of race and poverty, the practice of putting a price on fundamental rights, and the persistent myth that bail and pretrial detention are necessary elements of the justice system.

From 2015 through 2019, BCBF paid more $5 million in bail to secure the freedom of nearly 5,000 individuals accused of misdemeanors. Our work proved that money bail is not only unjust, but also unnecessary: 95% of our clients returned to court as required—often multiple times and over a period of months—with no personal financial incentive to do so.

In response to intensifying Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, deportations, and retaliatory enforcement of immigration laws, BCBF formed the New York Immigrant Freedom Fund (NYIFF) program to secure the freedom of non-citizen New Yorkers held in immigration detention and eligible for release during the pendency of their cases, but at bond amounts—the average is now over $8,500—they cannot afford. Leveraging our on-the-ground experience as a bail fund, we have secured the freedom of over 450 community members from ICE detention. We will harness our results to demonstrate that immigration bond and detention harm, and do not protect, our communities.

In 2019, we were proud to partner with community-based organizations, advocates, and members of affected communities to help win historic criminal justice reform in New York State that became effective on January 1, 2020. That legislation, however, has now been rolled back, resulting in the expansion of money bail, which will lead to the pretrial incarceration of up to tens of thousands more people. BCBF will continue to leverage our expertise, visibility and partnerships in the fight to end pretrial detention and #FreeThemAll.

Wiki

Bail fund

A bail fund is an organization, often charitable, community and volunteer-driven, or both, that collects money for the purpose of posting monetary bail for those in jail on pre-trial detention. Recipients may include those who cannot afford bail on their own or those who are in jail due to being arrested while protesting. Community bail funds determine their own criteria for eligibility and amount of bail that they will support. As of 2020, there are over 60 community bail funds around the United States represented in the National Bail Fund Network.[1]

Bail funds are related to bail reform efforts, as by paying individual bails, funds help directly address the disparities in case outcomes faced by those in pre-trial detention who are unable to post bail. Being unable to pay bail, and thus staying in jail longer before trial, means that defendants who cannot afford bail may have issues with managing or keeping employment, childcare, housing, or mounting an effective defense in their case, leading to poorer case outcomes.[2] The Vera Institute of Justice found that in 2013 in New York, 54% of inmates who remained in jail until their cases were disposed could not afford their bail of $2500 or less.[3] In 2020, the Prison Policy Initiative found that over half a million people were in jail or prison on pre-trial detention in the United States at any given time, many because they could not afford bail.[4]

Operation

Though community bail funds vary in how they raise money, decide on applicant eligibility, and manage the logistics of posting bail,[5] the basic principles are the same. Monetary bail is set after arrest as a guarantee to ensure that suspects return to court for trial. Bail is paid to the court as a deposit that is returned at the conclusion of a case.[6] This means that bail funds that post bail receive the money back (minus fees) when the individual bailed out returns to court and completes their case, enabling the bail fund to reuse the money for another bail.[7] Bail funds are differentiated from other methods of paying bail in that they are often unconnected to the individuals who receive bail.[8]

History

The history of bail funds dates back to the 1920s; the American Civil Liberties Union set up a bail fund in 1920 to release people arrested for sedition during the First Red Scare.[9] However, the rise of community bail funds across the United States has only happened since around 2012.[8] In 2012, New York passed the only law related to bail funds in the United States[10] when it legalized charitable bail funds that posted bails of $2000 or less, which led to the revival of The Bronx Freedom Fund and the creation of the Brooklyn Bail Fund.[11][12]

See also

References

  1. ^ "National Bail Fund Network". Community Justice Exchange. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  2. ^ Harvard Law School Criminal Justice Policy Program (October 2016). Moving beyond money: a primer on bail reform (PDF) (Report).
  3. ^ Subramanian, Ram (February 2015). Incarceration's front door: the misuse of jails in America (PDF) (Report).
  4. ^ Initiative, Prison Policy; Wagner, Wendy Sawyer and Peter. "Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020". www.prisonpolicy.org. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  5. ^ Phillips, Sarah (n.d.). National survey of community bail funds: report to the community (PDF) (Report). Smart Decarceration Initiative, Washington University in St. Louis.
  6. ^ "How Does Bail Work | ExpertLaw". www.expertlaw.com. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  7. ^ "How it Works". The Massachusetts Bail Fund. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  8. ^ a b Simonson, J. (2017). Bail nullification. Michigan Law Review, 115(5), p.599
  9. ^ Steinberg, Robin (2018). "Freedom should be free: a brief history of bail funds in the United States". UCLA Criminal Justice Law Review. 2: 79–95.
  10. ^ "Nation's Largest Bail Fund Plans To Stop Bailing People Out Of Jail". The Appeal. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  11. ^ Pinto, Nick (2020-04-06). "Bailing Out". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved 2020-05-31.
  12. ^ "About Us". Brooklyn Community Bail Fund. Retrieved 2020-05-31.

Further reading

  • Abernathy, L. (2017-2018). Bailing out: The Constitutional and Policy Benefits of Community and Nonprofit Bail Funds. Law & Psychology Review, 42, 85-102.
  • Flanagan, A. (2019). Resisting racialized immigration enforcement through community bond funds. Georgetown Journal of Law & Modern Critical Race Perspectives, 11(1), 45-64.
  • Simonson, J. (2017). Bail nullification. Michigan Law Review, 115(5), 585-638.

Videos

IRS data by ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer


BROOKLYN COMMUNITY BAIL FUND INC

BROOKLYN, NY 11201-3631 | Tax-exempt since Aug. 2014
  • EIN: 90-1014588
  • Classification (NTEE)
    Single Organization Support (Crime, Legal-Related)
  • Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(3)
    Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
  • Donations to this organization are tax deductible.
Fiscal year ending

Dec. 2018

Fiscal year ending Dec.

2018

PDF

990

Full Text

990 (filed on Sept. 20, 2019)

Full Filing

Raw XML

990

Form 990 documents available

Extracted filing data is not available for this tax period, but Form 990 documents are available for download.

Fiscal year ending

Dec. 2017

Fiscal year ending Dec.

2017

PDF

990

Full Text

990 (filed on Nov. 29, 2018)

Full Filing

990 (filed on Oct. 25, 2018)

Full Filing

Raw XML

Total Revenue

$2,592,631

Total Functional Expenses $1,519,462
Net income $1,073,169
Notable sources of revenue Percent of total revenue
Contributions $2,584,390 99.7%
Program services $0
Investment income $8,241 0.3%
Bond proceeds $0
Royalties $0
Rental property income $0
Net fundraising $0
Sales of assets $0
Net inventory sales $0
Other revenue $0
Notable expenses Percent of total expenses
Executive compensation $129,452 8.5%
Professional fundraising fees $0
Other salaries and wages $668,650 44.0%
Other
Total Assets $3,573,901
Total Liabilities $1,071,246
Net Assets $2,502,655
Fiscal year ending

Dec. 2016

Fiscal year ending Dec.

2016

Full Text

990 (filed on Sept. 12, 2017)

Full Filing

Raw XML

990

Total Revenue

$1,689,929

Total Functional Expenses $884,603
Net income $805,326
Notable sources of revenue Percent of total revenue
Contributions $1,689,516 100.0%
Program services $0
Investment income $413 0.0%
Bond proceeds $0
Royalties $0
Rental property income $0
Net fundraising $0
Sales of assets $0
Net inventory sales $0
Other revenue $0
Notable expenses Percent of total expenses
Executive compensation $97,735 11.0%
Professional fundraising fees $14,733 1.7%
Other salaries and wages $297,742 33.7%
Other
Total Assets $1,945,277
Total Liabilities $515,791
Net Assets $1,429,486
Fiscal year ending

Dec. 2015

Fiscal year ending Dec.

2015

PDF

990

Full Text

990 (filed on Dec. 29, 2016)

Full Filing

Raw XML

990

Total Revenue

$729,957

Total Functional Expenses $192,488
Net income $537,469
Notable sources of revenue Percent of total revenue
Contributions $729,896 100.0%
Program services $0
Investment income $61 0.0%
Bond proceeds $0
Royalties $0
Rental property income $0
Net fundraising $0
Sales of assets $0
Net inventory sales $0
Other revenue $0
Notable expenses Percent of total expenses
Executive compensation $37,500 19.5%
Professional fundraising fees $21,508 11.2%
Other salaries and wages $35,874 18.6%
Other
Total Assets $611,241
Total Liabilities $10,711
Net Assets $600,530
Fiscal year ending

Dec. 2014

Fiscal year ending Dec.

2014

PDF

990-EZ

Full Text

990EZ (filed on July 24, 2015)

Full Filing

Raw XML

990EZ

Total Revenue

$102,598

Total Functional Expenses $2,772
Net income $99,826
Notable sources of revenue Percent of total revenue
Contributions $102,598 100%
Program services $0
Investment income $0
Net fundraising $0
Sales of assets $0
Net inventory sales $0
Other revenue $0
Other
Total Assets $102,012
Total Liabilities $2,186
Net Assets $99,826

Last Updated: 2020-11-21 07:58