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Omaha Freedom Fund
$295 raised
3% of $9k goal
7 contributors
126 Days running
OFF! is an all-volunteer project to pay bail costs for the most vulnerable in Omaha who cannot afford the ransom themselves, and who would otherwise be incarcerated until trial or forced to plead guilty as a result.

Omaha Freedom Fund! (OFF!) is a revolving bail fund.

OFF! will keep people out of Omaha jail. When people are out on bail while awaiting their court appearances, they have better judgement outcomes than people held in pre-trial detention. $5 00-2000 bail might be an unreachable amount to the families of arrestees, but through community action it is possible to meet the jail ransom. An initial $9,000 will be a reserve to begin bailing out. At the close of a case, a portion of the bail money is returned and goes back into the fund to use for somebody else.  100% of the money raised goes towards bail. OFF! is volunteer-run and no one gets paid to do this work. If we don't advocate for ourselves, no one else will.

The idea of community bail funds are spreading as autonomous groups begin to act on reducing the harm cash bail systems cause. A debt prison is then built on people's inability to pay bail. Being held in jail while awaiting trial means one is more likely to be found guilty and more likely to receive a stiffer sentence. Access to money should not determine presumption in someone's ability to appear in court, especially when study after study shows no correlation between bond amounts and making court appearances. The majority of court cases in the U.S. are settled with plea deals out of desperation, not justice.

Cash bail is a tactic designed to make a guilty plea the favorable option.

Paying bail often pushes families further into crisis. Families make a choice between paying bail or rent; bail or food. Even a short time in jail could trigger evictions, failure from school/university, deportation, or loss of a job. In short, the bail process, and the entire penal system is designed to destroy people's lives.

Douglas County Corrections averages 18,000 booking arrests per year. Of that 18,000 people, very few are given release of own recognizance (ROR), or release without bail.

Omaha Freedom Fund! has immediate material benefits for many people, and with your help, the potential for self-sustainability. OFF! is a big step in resisting the racist incarceration system, helping people stay in their communities and with their families, and toward offering a political alternative to those directly affected by state oppression and violence. Lastly, with your donation you can directly bring health and solidarity back into people's lives while they are at a crossroads, and begin building new relationships based on mutual aid and solidarity.

OFF! is but one prong in a prison abolitionist movement committed to tirelessly combating the prison-industrial complex of which criminalizes Black and indigenous existence, and the pulverizing of the poor.

omahafreedomfund.wordpress.com

 

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