• Bridget McGoron
    What is the Bail Project?

    The cash bail system upends the presumption of innocence and the notion that everyone is equal under the law. It does it by punishing people in low-income communities and communities of color, fueling economic inequality and systematic racism in the legal system. Time after time, people who can’t afford bail remain in jail before trial, while those with money buy their liberty. Those free on bail can return to their jobs and families while awaiting trial. They can continue to be active members of their communities. Each year, an estimated 2.5 million people sit in jail before they are given a trial because they cannot afford bail.

    That’s where the Bail Project comes in. We use a revolving bail fund, funded by nearly 500,000 individuals, companies, and foundations, to pay cash bail for individuals being held in jails across the US. We currently have 30 sites in operation and one of those sites is right here in Hamilton County.

    How does it work?

    When an individual in need of bail assistance is identified, a referral can be submitted by visiting our website, bailproject.org, clicking the link Need help paying bail? in the bottom right corner of the page, and completing a referral.

    Once the referral is submitted, a member of our team will complete a review of the referral and determine whether we can move forward to the interview phase. If a referral is selected to move forward our Bail Disruptor will go into the jail to complete an interview with the prospective client. During the interview, we work to identify any self-reported barriers and/or needs a prospective client may have to determine what level of support they will need post-bailout. Our goal is to help connect individuals to community resources that will help address their needs and prevent re-incarceration. We call this Community Release with Support.

    After the interview is complete, we will contact Third-Party Contacts. Third-Party Contacts are individuals in the community that the prospective client has identified as part of their support system. Third-Party Contacts are individuals who will assist the prospective client in remembering their court dates and help prospective clients stay connected to the Bail Project until their case is resolved. Third-Party Contacts can be family members, friends, case workers, employers, clergymen, counselors, and more. We need at least one confirmed Third-Party Contact to post bail for a prospective client. Once the third-party contact(s) is confirmed, the Bail Project will move forward with posting bail and the individual will become a client.

    The Bail Project will continue working with the client until the resolution of their case—this includes sending court reminders, connecting clients with Bail Project provided cell phones, Lyft rides to and from court or court-related appointments, and resources in the community.

    At the resolution of a client’s case, the bail funds are returned to the Bail Project and we can use those same funds to bail out more individuals.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What are the qualifications for bail assistance in Hamilton County?

    - Prospective clients must be held at the Hamilton County Justice Center—at this time we are unable to post bail in jurisdictions outside of Hamilton County.

    - The prospective client’s fully-secured cash bond amount must be $20,000 or below—we are unable to post 10% bonds at this time. For example, if an individual’s fully-secured cash bond is $20,000 with 10%, we would have to pay $20,000, not the 10% bond at $2,000.

    - Prospective clients cannot have holds in other jurisdictions which would result in reincarceration if released from the Hamilton County Justice Center.

    2. Is there an income threshold for assistance?

    - No! We do not require any proof of financial need.

    3. Are there any charges that the Bail Project is unable to consider?

    - No! We consider ourselves charge agnostic and an individual will not be denied outright due to the nature of their charges. This does not mean we are able to assist with every referral that we receive but we will consider all referrals.

    Bail Project Team Members

    Jeremy Page - Operations Manager


    Kris Jolly - Bail Disruptor


    Bridget McGoron - Client Support Specialist

Add a Comment

Welcome to Recovery Connections!

We encourage you to create an account to help grow our community of contributors!