Why Money Bond Harms Survivors

 In General

As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, CCBF co-hosted a virtual event alongside Women’s Justice Institute and Ascend Justice to hear from survivors who are currently incarcerated in Illinois for defending themselves and to shed light on the harms of money bond and the current pretrial legal system. Over 100 people attended to hear stories shared by women in the Logan and Decatur Correctional Centers. You can view a recording of this powerful event here. There are links for the recording and more information from the survivors who shared below if you were not able to attend the live event.

While it may no longer be Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it is still important that we continue to share these stories and talk about the very real violence and trauma that the system itself perpetrates against victims of gender-based violence every single day. The pretrial carceral system is not set up to fix root causes of harms in our communities. We know that with the implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act and the end of money bond we are moving in the right direction to at least ensure that being poor and not having access to resources cannot be the reason someone is held in jail before trial. We must protect the Pretrial Fairness Act to make sure that survivors of gender-based violence are given the chance to be presumed innocent, which is something not afforded to those who are held on bond in jail pretrial. 

While we continue to work towards liberation, we must make sure that we are organizing and building community with survivors and directly impacted folks, especially those currently incarcerated. They hold the knowledge and experience to help build restorative justice practices with community, for all of us to work together to create safety and build accountability without creating more harm and perpetrating more violence. It is not enough to uplift stories. We must demand prominent seats at the table. Directly impacted, formerly incarcerated and incarcerated folks, like the women at this event, are the experts. 

To Janay, Tameka, Mary, Paris, and Kiya, we are sincerely grateful for your vulnerability and authenticity leading this discussion and for continuing to speak out and organize. We see you and we honor your continued contributions to the community.

We also want to say a huge thank you to Women’s Justice Institute and Ascend Justice for hosting with us. The work of both organizations is so important and impactful and we are grateful to be in community, doing this work with all of you.

If you were unable to attend the live event, here is a link to the recording.

More information about the survivors, their stories, and how money bond continues to harm survivors can be found here

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