Virginia still relies heavily on a system of money bail. Because bail amounts are often out of reach, many people who are arrested but not convicted of a crime are either forced to go through for-profit bail bondsmen (a practice that is illegal in almost every other country) or sit in jail as they await trial. Like the criminal legal system more broadly, the system of cash bail disproportionately affects people of color and poor people.
A bail fund does not solve the deep-rooted problems of the criminal legal system, but it can help to ensure that those who have not been convicted of a crime do not sit in jail for months as they await trial simply because they lack the resources needed to post bail.
The Blue Ridge Community Bail Fund is a revolving bail fund set up to help those being held pre-trial on secured bond in the greater Shenandoah Valley. We work directly with public defenders to identify people in jail who cannot afford to post pail, and then we post the bail in cash ourselves. The Blue Ridge Community Bail Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and all work is done by volunteers.