NH Bail Fund – August Newsletter

We want to start with a profound thank you to everyone who donated to our emergency fundraiser this summer. Thanks to all of you, we were able to raise more than $15,000. This allowed us to keep freeing our neighbors from jail.

July was our busiest month since our founding in 2018, with 23 bails paid. We’ve also seen an increase in the dollar amount of bails being set for low-level offenses. We’re trying to figure out what actions we might take to address this systemically. In the meantime, your donations help so much!

To conserve our funds, at this time we have set a $1,000 limit on the bail amount we will pay for any individual at a given time. We are always happy to work with families and friends of an incarcerated person to get a larger bail paid. If someone you know is in jail and can’t afford bail, please contact bailreferral@googlegroups.com.

A recent story from a man we were able to bail out from Valley Street Jail:

At age 17, on a dare from a friend, he robbed somebody.  He got caught and this was his introduction to the penal system.  While in jail, he was introduced to and became addicted to drugs, especially heroin.  Now, 15 years later, he has been in and out of jail, all for drug possession.

He was in rehab, trying to turn his life around, when he had an accident at work.  He fell 25 feet off a ladder and broke both wrists.  His boss gave him $300 and let him go.  As a result of seeing doctors and a surgery, he missed a meeting with his parole officer.  Shortly after that, police stopped him while he was just walking on the street. They asked for ID, he refused (he was doing nothing wrong), and they arrested him for jaywalking.  They ran his name and found the missed meeting.  Back to jail.

When we bailed him out, he still had both wrists in casts, but was planning to rejoin his rehab group.  He really is trying to turn his life around.

This month, we also received a number of referrals from outside our core area of Hillsborough County: from Rockingham, Merrimack, Cheshire, and Coös Counties. We’re thrilled to be able to help people across the state. To keep doing this effectively, we’re looking for people statewide who may be able to help occasionally by paying a bail or giving folks a ride from jail. To learn more, please contact info@uuactionnh.org.

We also always need volunteers to pay bails and offer rides in Hillsborough County, particularly the Manchester area! And we’re looking for people who can help out in other ways like fundraising, legislative work, and volunteer recruitment. Again, please contact info@uuactionnh.org to find out more! 

And last, we do rely on your generous donations to keep us going. Donate online at tinyurl.com/ypdazk9k. To donate by mail, please make a check payable to UUANH with “Bail Fund” in the memo line. Mail checks to PO Box 3862, Manchester NH 03105.

Sincerely,

The NH Community Bail Fund team: Andy, Curt, Jessica, Livia, Paul, and Sarah

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