Shared Values — a cause and an action.
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
Mission: Our mission is to ensure equal access to the criminal justice system through direct service, advocacy and public education. We prevent damaging, unnecessary and costly pre-trial detention and connect clients in need to a range of support services. We advocate for fairer, smarter criminal justice, including the elimination of wealth as a factor in pretrial detention.
About: We see ending pre-trail detention based on the inability to afford bail as a first step toward broader reforms needed to restore the presumption of innocence to low-income people, to reduce the incarcerated population and ultimately, to ensure equal justice for all Americans. Based on a commitment to racial and economic justice, we work to create a criminal justice system that treats all people equally and with dignity.
The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable bail organization that prevents unnecessary pretrial detention by paying bail for low-income New Yorkers accused of misdemeanors. Our approach seizes on the opportunity provided by the Charitable Bail Act of 2012, which allows us to pay bail of $2,000 or less for misdemeanor defendants who cannot otherwise afford it. By paying these small amounts of bail, we avert coerced guilty pleas and help keep families together, productive and stable.
Our Executive Director, Peter Goldberg, began working on this project in 2012 when public defenders from the Brooklyn Defender Services requested pro bono assistance in forming a charitable bail organization. Time again, the defenders saw their clients imprisoned and forced to plead guilty for their inability to afford small amounts bail. After acquiring the necessary licenses, the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund began operations in April 2015 with Peter as the sole bail payer. The Fund has now grown to a team of six and is expanding services to Manhattan in early 2016. The Funds works with teams of public defenders, reentry specialists, and social service providers to do this groundbreaking work.
Partner Since: 2016
Founder (year established): Peter Goldberg (2015)