BPDA Statement on Chicago Tribune Story on Bail Funds

WASHINGTON (May 7, 2020) — The Black Public Defender Association issued the following statement in response to a recent Chicago Tribune story on bail funds:

“We’re deeply disturbed that two organizations that were created to level the playing field are under attack for helping Black and brown people post bail. Here again, another Willie Horton style fear mongering by tough-on-crime proponents who clearly don’t care that access to money is used to unjustly keep Black and Brown people in jail. It is rare that questions are raised when a wealthy person is bailed out of jail by a family member, but when charities provide people without the means an opportunity to purchase their freedom, there is backlash.

It is irresponsible for the article to not also report that 91% of the people that the Chicago Community Bond Fund has paid bond for returned to court, and completed their case without being rearrested. News outlets should focus their attacks on the broken criminal legal system that has repeatedly and unsuccessfully used excessive punishment as its only means to achieve public safety.”


The Black Public Defender Association aims to improve the quality of defense provided to low-income communities across the United States by creating and maintaining a national network of skilled Black public defenders that identify with and are committed to the populations they serve.