Bailing out "J" in April 2021 during COVID
Here at the NH Bail and Bond Fund, we interpret the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin as evidence that people power works. In other words, it was only because people took to the streets, only because survivors spoke out, only because people organized, that we have a world where the jury found Chauvin guilty.
For that reason, this event recommits us to our work at the NH Bail and Bond Fund, especially as starting on April 15, there was a marked increase of the need for our services.
Below is a report from Jessica, one of our volunteers, about what it was like to bail out J last week. If you can donate to the NH Bail and Bond Fund, whatever the amount, we would gratefully receive it!
Likewise, if you want to learn more about the NH Bail and Bond Fund, possibly to volunteer, please contact Tristan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn about what it was like to bail out J last week from our volunteer Jessica:
On April 15, 2021 I went to Hillsborough County Department of Corrections (also known as Valley Street Jail) to bail out a middle-aged man (J) who had been detained there since late January. He was charged with the misdemeanor crimes of trespass and resisting arrest and was held for nearly three months pre-trial because he did not have $100 for bail.
I met J's brother in the waiting area and we talked for nearly two hours before J could be released to go home with his brother. According to the brother, J has life long bi-polar disorder and from the behaviors the brother describes that seems likely. "J has been in and out of jail many times, all for minor, non-violent offenses. He refuses mental health care and medication. This time he stole a car, got lost and called the police for help." He has also been stealing money from his 77 year old father and his unemployed brother which is why they refused to provide bail this time.
Jail is not an appropriate placement for people with severe mental illness. Nor should someone be detained for non-violent offenses before being convicted. This case is another example of unjust detention suffered by the poor or people with mental illness.