FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 18
Power Coalition for Equity and Justice and YWCA Greater Baton Rouge pay bail for people awaiting trial in the East Baton Rouge jail in celebration of Juneteenth.
Baton Rouge, LA– Power Coalition for Equity and Justice and the YWCA Greater Baton Rouge are partnering for the annual Juneteenth Freedom Bailout. Juneteenth, also referred to as Freedom or Liberation Day, is a celebration of the emancipation from slavery in 1865. On the national day of freedom, Power Coalition and YWCA are dedicated to posting bail for people currently in East Baton Rouge jail who can not afford their bail and are not yet convicted of a crime.
The practice of bail is rooted in injustice. Low income people are forced to sit in jail before ever even being convicted of a crime while people with more financial means are able to post bail.
In 2021, Power Coalition advocated for legislation to reduce the impact and burden of costly fines and fees associated with the criminal justice system. The bills were unsuccessful and Act 260, passed in 2017 to create a statewide ability to pay framework, was delayed another year, making people wait even longer when relief is needed now.
“Cash bail has created two parallel justice systems, one for low income people who are forced to sit in jail and one for people who can afford to post bail,” says Janea Jamison, Director of Programs for Power Coalition.
Power Coalition and YWCA are donating $50,000 to bail people out of jail knowing that we can not possibly free all people. We are committed to dismantling the current criminal justice system, creating new policies that support communities, and finding solutions to help people now. As we work toward these systemic changes we will continue to post bail and provide other resources to people as the state continues to make money off the backs of Black and Brown citizens.
The bailout will happen on Friday, June 25 in Baton Rouge.
Who: Power Coalition for Equity and Justice and YWCA Greater Baton Rouge
What: Host a Juneteenth Bailout at East Baton Rouge Jail
When: Friday, June 25