Philly is the most incarcerated big city in the United States. While we have made big strides in reducing Philly's jail population, thousands of our neighbors are held in our jails on State Road, on bails as small as hundreds of dollars or as big as millions, every single day.
Pretrial incarceration causes brutal harm to incarcerated people and their families, and it’s a driver of violence. Independent studies have shown that we can bring accused people home pretrial without a rise in new arrests or failures to come to court.
On MLK Day, YASP, the Philadelphia Bail Fund, the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund, the #No215Jail Coalition, POWER Interfaith, Live Free, and many others joined together to hear directly from people who have suffered harm when locked up pretrial, but who have built stories of resilience and success once released from incarceration. The event space was full as the result of a fantastic turnout, with legislators and council members in attendance. Several people, such as YASP organizer William Bentley, shared their powerful personal stories about the criminal justice system and its impact.
In the Philly Inquirer, YASP organizer William Bentley shared his story and highlighted the importance of YASP's work with the Philly Community Bail Fund to get young people out of adult jails to fight for their freedom from home. Read the full oped here: https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/community-bail-fund-youth-sentencing-20200103.html
Check out what YASP has been doing!