Three moms in Alameda County will be spending Mother’s Day at home with their kids instead of locked up in jail or immigration detention. They are among 30 moms being bailed out nationwide by social and racial justice groups looking to reform the bail system.
Moms were being bailed out in Oakland, Los Angeles, Memphis, Atlanta, Minneapolis, New York, Chicago and a number of other cities across the country as part of National Mama’s Bail Out Day.
“Women lose custody of their children because they cannot make bail,” said Cheryl Diston, a member of the Essie Justice Group in Oakland that was participating in the bailout day. "Families are torn apart because they cannot make bail. It isn’t right. It’s not right.”
About two dozen people gathered on the steps of Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland on Thursday to talk about the financial and emotional cost of bail that often falls on African-American mothers.
Black women are twice as likely as white women to end up in jails, and nearly 80 percent of women in jails nationwide are mothers, according to advocacy groups. Since 1980, the number of incarcerated women has grown by 700 percent, the groups said.