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Faith leaders screen documentary film on the cash bail system

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Faith in Action Alabama’s LIVE FREE Campaign will host a public screening of Brave New Films’ documentary “The Bail Trap: American Ransom” on Sunday, July 22 at 4:30 p.m.

The film highlights how money bail is one of the main feeders of America’s mass incarceration system. The film will be accompanied by a panel discussion with local Judge Sybil Cleveland, Attorney Caren Short of the Southern Poverty Law Center, former Public Defender LeAnne McGee, local clergy and impacted citizens.

The screening of “The Bail Trap: American Ransom” will take place at the Wilson Hall Auditorium at the University of Alabama Huntsville Campus, 4814 Holmes Ave. NW in Huntsville.

The film claims that money bail is an injustice that is pervasive in the criminal justice system: money bail.
Across the country, millions of individuals are forced to pay bail money in order to avoid jail while they await trial, no matter how minor their infraction.

The film makers claim that money bail is often set out of reach of many people. Without the ability to pay bail, many Alabamans cannot work or care for their families, may get caught in exploitative arrangements with bail bond companies and often feel obligated to plead guilty just to get out of jail. The film makers argue that this is an unjust system that disproportionately affects people of color and low-income people.
The film makers claim that 70 percent of the people in jails due to their income status and inability to pay the bail.

Faith in Action Alabama says that it has long worked to develop a multiracial, multi-faith community, while building collective power to address mass incarceration, dismantle systemic racism and effect structural change at the local and state levels. The group claims that eliminating money bail is an important first step toward true reform in the criminal justice system, and Faith in Action Alabama is proud to encourage conversation and action around this issue.

More information on the screening can be found Faith in Action Alabama’s Facebook event page.
For more information on Faith in Action Alabama, visit fiaal.wordpress.com.

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Faith in Action Alabama is a multifaith, multiracial organization working to honor God by achieving systemic change through faith-based community organizing in order to create pathways of opportunity for all Alabamians.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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