June 2016 Newsletter
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way Out
A bequest from two sisters restores justice to the justice system
People shouldn’t be put behind bars for being poor—but sometimes bail means jail.
In New York City, those arrested for misdemeanors, such as subway turnstile jumping, have to post up to $1,000 bail to avoid going to jail.
That seemingly small amount is insurmountable for low-income New Yorkers. So, every year, thousands spend days on Rikers Island—losing jobs, missing rent or child support payments, and becoming more destitute. Some plead guilty, even if they are innocent, to get home. They end up with a lifelong criminal record.
That’s why The New York Community Trust just gave $90,000 to the newly created Brooklyn Community Bail Fund to find ways to overhaul an outdated and unjust justice system. To make our grant, we combined money from our Annual Fund and several donors, including Golda and Mollie Fine, sisters who left their estate to us in their wills. The Fine sisters asked The Trust to use the money in part to solve problems in law enforcement.