My name is Edward Sistrunk, but I’m known as Omar Askia Ali, and I’m housed in Philadelphia in Coal Township. Today’s topic is about the ACLU endeavor to foster smart justice. The American Civil Liberties Union announces a new campaign to end money bail, which would reduce the prison population by 50%, combat racial disparity in the criminal justice system.
The ACLU endeavor is to foster smart justice and eliminate wealth based pretrial detention, originally designed to ensure that people return for trial rather than just sit in jail. However, money bail has turned into a system that targets those who cannot pay bail, specifically poor and middle-class households.
The ACLU is quoted in the Philadelphia Tribune, 12/12/17, Page One, that this nationwide system of wealth based incarceration keeps people who have not been convicted of a crime in jail for weeks, months, and even years. Just recently, rapper Jay-Z took on the bail establishment for the very same reason.
Also, please bear in mind, the bail money is a non-refundable fee to a for-profit bail based company. The injustice of wealth based detention keeps thousands of people behind bars on a daily basis. On any given day in the United States, nearly 450,000 people are sitting in jail, even though they have not been convicted of a crime.
This reform will expand [inaudible] both federally and the state level through litigation, communication, and legislative advocacy. The only ones benefiting from the bail system is the bail industry profiteers.
Thank you very much.
(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.