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PNS Daily News - May 24, 2017 


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Mother's Day Gift: Group Releases NC Moms from Jail

Eight North Carolina mothers will enjoy a Mother's Day with their children, after being bailed out of jail by members of Southerners on New Ground. (Stephane Lavoie/flickr.com)
Eight North Carolina mothers will enjoy a Mother's Day with their children, after being bailed out of jail by members of Southerners on New Ground. (Stephane Lavoie/flickr.com)
May 12, 2017

DURHAM, N.C. – This Mother's Day, a lucky group of North Carolina mothers are getting the gift of time with their children.

On Thursday in Durham, eight women were released after members and supporters of Southerners on New Ground (SONG) raised money to bail them out of jail, where they were waiting until their trial because they couldn't afford the bail money.

Courtney Sebring, a member of SONG and also co-chair of the Durham Chapter of Black Youth Project 100, explains how our current system disproportionately impacts the poor and people of color.

"This condemns tens of thousands of people to cages every day who have not been convicted of a crime, but simply cannot afford their bail," she explains. "Money bail is a system that punishes people for their poverty, and in a society that believes that we are all innocent until proven guilty, it is holding innocent people hostage."

Eighty-percent of women in jail are also mothers. Thursday's "Black Mama's Bail Out" Action is part of a national effort.

Sebring says they hope to raise at least $35,000 to bail out additional women next week.

This Sunday, SONG and BYP100 are hosting a party to welcome the women they released back into the community and their families' lives.

Sebring explains why Sunday's event is so important.

"Black women are two times more likely than their counterparts to be incarcerated during their lifetime," she says. "We are throwing a giant homecoming celebration, for all the black mamas that we released, for all the black mamas throughout Durham, just to celebrate and validate black motherhood on Mother's Day."

Sebring adds that money bail should be used only for people considered a flight risk.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC