Founded in 2018, Colorado Freedom Fund (CFF) is a revolving fund that posts bonds for people unable to afford cash bail. In January 2020 CFF + ACLU Colorado launch Bring Our Neighbors Home-campaign for pretrial liberty.
The Colorado Freedom Fund (CFF) is a revolving fund that posts bonds to buy freedom for people trapped in Colorado cages due only to their inability to afford the cost of bail bond. We are based in the Denver/Front Range, and primarily post bonds in: Denver, Arapahoe, Jefferson, Adams, Douglas, El Paso, and Boulder Counties. Generally we are able to post bonds up to $500 (cash/surety). To refer someone who needs help posting a bond they can't afford, please submit a referral form online at www.coloradofreedomfund.org/refer/.
CFF is a proud member of the National Bail Fund Network. "A unifying principle guides the Network, is a belief that bail funds are a temporary intervention, not a permanent solution to the mass injustices embodied by the criminal legal system. We believe bail funds can play a critical and immediate harm reduction role and have a long and important history as a way for communities to push back on an unjust system."
Thanks to community support and outpouring of love, in May 2018, CFF raised over $20,000 which enabled us to post 17 bonds to free 14 Mamas from cages in 5 Denver area jails for Mother’s Day 2018. Our Mama’s Day Bail Out was a success, but it was just the beginning.
Carrying the Mama’s Day love forward, we launched Juneteenth/ Father’s Day Bail Out, and surpassed our fundraising goals: you gave over $26,000 in new donations in June 2018, which added to $11,000+ in released bonds + late arriving Mother's Day gifts from May. This phenomenal amount allowed us to post bail bonds for 21 of our people (20 men + 1 young woman), freeing them from 5 Colorado jails June 14-19, 2018.
In July and August 2018 we celebrated with many of our folks as they successfully resolved their criminal legal cases. In addition to their own success, this is an extra win because the released bonds were returned to our revolving fund, enabling us to buy freedom for more members of our community.
We pay all our people’s bail in full; we never utilize for-profit bail companies or bonds persons. The bonds we posted in 2018 have ranged from $10 (yes, TEN dollars) to $2,000; average bond is $1,000. The length of pre-trial jail stays has ranged from a Brother held a heartbreaking 4 months on a $100 bond, a Sis held 6 months on a $500 bond, to some of our folks who we were able to find and free within 4 days.
Their stories vary, but all of our people conveyed to our legal volunteers that they could not afford bail, that they consented to being bonded, and that were eager to rejoin the community while resolving their legal cases. We are thankful to every person who let us be a part of their liberation.
By being freed from jail our people are able to reunite with family, keep jobs, and met a number of personal goals. We know freedom ain't free, and for our folks still facing challenges we are honored to support them in securing the help they need to successfully resolve their legal issues. If they need us, and to the extent they want our support, we are here.
Our team efforts to buy freedom for our folks was featured in local media in 2018:
The Denver Post (https://www.denverpost.com/2018/06/16/fathers-day-bail-out/), amongst others.
We remain focused on our goal: ending money bail in Colorado and in the United States. We know that cash bail is exploitative, ineffective, and penalizes those who are already most vulnerable and most over-represented in the criminal legal system.
As we work to end money bail we must also work to mitigate its effects: your help with the Bail Out allowed us to free people being held in jail only because they are unable to afford bond, before they've even had their "day in court." Innocence until guilt is proven is supposedly a bedrock of the criminal legal system; remember: none of the men or women whose bonds we posted have stood trial for the offenses for which they have been charged, much less been convicted.
Thank you to all who gave and who continue to support us in our mission to mitigate the harmful effects of money bail…exciting updates coming soon! In the interim, please keep an eye on ColoradoFreedomFund.org for updates on upcoming actions and our ongoing efforts to abolish money bail.
With your help, cash bail and its devastating effects will soon be a thing of the past in Colorado and beyond.
Elisabeth Epps & Eva Frickle, Colorado Freedom Fund
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