Bailing black moms out of jail before Mother's Day
For the third year in a row, volunteers with the Free Black Mamas DMV movement are spending the week leading up to Mother's Day raising donations and posting bail for black mothers jailed in the Maryland area. Pictured: Cheyenne Brewington receives...more
Paula Pouchie of Baltimore reacts after her bond was posted at Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson. She was being held since May 3 because she could not afford to post a $2,000 bond for a traffic-related offense. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
The women are incarcerated for weeks, sometimes months, because they cannot afford to post bail. One woman (not pictured) helped this year was jailed for 11 months because she couldn't pay a $100 bond, according to organizers. Pictured: Volunteers...more
Among the volunteers is Qiana Johnson, who served two years in state prison. She started Life After Release, an organization that provides services to women after they are released from jail, because she believes that "every person deserves a second...more
The "Free Black Mamas" volunteers raise the funds through social media, appealing for donations through Gofundme, Cash App, Venmo and other payment systems. This year, they have raised $24,000 and posted bail for eight women since Monday, with a...more
The group has traveled to at least four different jails in the Baltimore area this week, seeking out black moms who needed their bond posted. On Sunday, the "Free Black Mamas" volunteers held a brunch with all the women they've helped free, and their...more
Some of the funds are raised in person: several community members passing by the jails offered up cash donations to the volunteers while they waited outside. Pictured: Nicole Hanson of "Out for Justice", a Baltimore organization that provides...more
Even after bail has been posted, the volunteers often wait for hours before the women are released, without explanation from authorities. Pictured: Qiana Johnson uses a mobile phone in Towson. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
But their efforts don't stop with the bail payments. Donations also go towards providing the women with short-term housing, cellphones, basic necessities and moral support, and connecting them with lawyers and helping them navigate the legal process...more
In the case of 55-year-old Tammy Dawes of Takoma Park, Maryland, the volunteers offered moral support and assisted with finding legal representation and other needs after she was released. Dawes had been detained at the Prince George's County...more
William Randolph hugs his girlfriend Tammy Dawes shortly after the Free Black Mamas DMV movement posted her bond. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
Tammy Dawes poses for a picture while attending the first annual DMV Mother's Day bailout brunch in Baltimore. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
Donna Brown and Dana Vickers Shelley of "Out for Justice", a Baltimore-based organization that provides resources to women after being released from jail, fill gift bags for mothers attending the first annual DMV Mother's Day bailout brunch in...more
A young girl makes a homemade Mother's Day card for mothers attending the first annual DMV Mother's Day bailout brunch in Baltimore. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
Qiana Johnson's organization Life After Release helps train women after incarceration, preparing resumes for job searches and holding workshops on how to re-enter society. Pictured: An entrance of the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson....more
Chrysalinn Archie, a "Free Black Mamas DMV" volunteer, holds up a sign outside of the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson. When asked what the bail meant to her, Archie said, "The bail system is unjust and mothers need to be with their...more
Lt. Owens of the Prince George's County Department of Corrections speaks to detention center personnel to assist members of the Free Black Mamas DMV movement and Life After Release organization while they post bonds for mothers. REUTERS/Michael A....more
Cheyenne Brewington (L) and Nee-Nee Taylor of the Black Lives Matter movement walk out of the Prince George's County Detention Center volunteers posted Brewington's bond. Brewington had been detained since April 18 and could not afford to post a...more
Members and volunteers of the "Free Black Mamas DMV" movement form a prayer circle with Paula Pouchie of Baltimore, Maryland, shortly after they posted her bond and she was released from the Baltimore County Detention Center. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
Volunteers of "Free Black Mamas DMV" rally outside of the Prince George's County Detention Center in Upper Marlboro. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
A member of the Prince George's County Department of Corrections K-9 unit patrols the detention center. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
Emergency personnel provide aid to Nicole Hanson who was struck by a car while crossing the street after leaving the Baltimore County Detention Center to check the status of an inmate. She went to hospital for further medical...more
A volunteers with the Free Black Mamas DMV movement makes a sign outside of the Prince George's County Detention Center. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
Volunteers of "Free Black Mamas DMV" participate in a video conference with members of the National Bail Out collective while waiting for mothers to be released from the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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