We’ve been very busy since summer! We’ve had some new folks join the team, including Nancy Colon and Jade Chowning. One of our amazing staff attorneys, Nicole Huddleston, has been promoted to Managing Attorney. And our paralegal Alex Navarrette and his wife welcomed their first child to the world! We’ve been fortunate enough to serve over 600 clients since opening, and The Bail Project has bailed out 348+ people to date. As we move towards holiday season, we want to thank you for your continued support of all that we do. This work wouldn’t be possible without our partners, allies, and cheerleaders. We’ve been grinding and growing steadily, and are looking forward to a new year and decade, and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got in store.
What’s Happening at DJC?
Since July, our Founding ED, Amanda Alexander, has been serving on the MI Joint Task Force on Jails and Pretrial Incarceration. Through this task force, we’ve heard powerful testimony from Michiganders around the state who have dealt with the jail system up close. From Traverse City to Lansing to Detroit, people are dealing with a system that punishes individuals without the means to pay. We’ve gotten some preliminary data from Pew Charitable Trusts on arrests and jails statewide that will hopefully allow task force members to propose reforms that create real change. At the last task force meeting in Detroit, we were stunned to hear a defense attorney give testimony about a woman being held pretrial simply because she couldn’t afford bail. The woman was the primary caretaker for her husband with acute dementia who needed her there to feed him. Had The Bail Project not bailed her out, he would have, in all likelihood, died. A system that regularly disregards the health and wellbeing of people and their loved ones simply because of their socioeconomic status isn’t one predicated upon justice but upon power and wealth.
To catch up on everything we’ve been up to since summer, read our Fall Newsletter here.