Jocelyn Simonson

All articles by this author

The Bail Fund Moment

The Bail Fund Moment

Reclaim the neighborhood, reclaim community, reclaim public safety

Every donation to a bail fund contributes to an alternative vision of justice by treating bail not as a neutral threshold an incarcerated person has to meet before they’re allowed to return to their community, but as an obstacle to justice that can only be resisted collectively. When a fund pays bail, it declares that pretrial detention is cruel and immoral, and that keeping someone locked up doesn’t automatically make their neighbors “safer.”

What is Community Justice?

What is Community Justice?

Mama's Bailout Day and other bottom-up interventions in everyday justice

Existing options for criminal justice participation focus too heavily on the decorum of deliberation. Much like the system they protect, they equate disruption with criminality and reinforcing the inequalities that reforms try to dismantle. Relying on deliberation and consensus ignores the ways in which our current criminal justice system relegates African-Americans and other marginalized populations to non-democratic subjects—not just through literal disenfranchisement of individuals with criminal records, but also through doctrine, policy, and rhetoric. And a focus on seeking consensus may lead us to privilege discourse that repeats rather than re-envisions our reigning ideas of what criminal justice should look like.