Transformative Bail Reform in the Black Community
Date:  03-08-2017

Interactive curriculum developed to educate and engage Black communities working for bail reform
The following curriculum was developed by Color of Change, The Movement for Black Lives, Law for Black Lives, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Project NIA and SONG.

Introduction

This curriculum is the product of a convening of over 20 Black led base-building organizations who came together to discuss the implications of bail and bail reform on Black communities across the country.

A subset of convening participants formed a working group that developed this curriculum. We understand ending bail as a limited, but necessary step, towards ending the mass criminalization and incarceration of our communities. Together we seek to ensure that communities most impacted by oppressive policing and incarceration are centered as experts in formulating alternatives to pretrial detention and incarceration. We recognize that we cannot enact reforms that move our communities closer to liberation without a historically grounded understanding of the inherent anti-Blackness of our criminal punishment system and an exploration of how many proposed reforms continue to re-entrench oppression and to prioritize profit over people. We therefore advocate for reforms that shift state resources away from punitive and ineffective systems and reallocate the trillions of dollars currently wasted on criminalizing our people to community controlled and accountable alternatives that respect the dignity and humanity of all people.

We cannot support reforms that make it more difficult to dismantle oppressive institutions. In order to support work that does not re-entrench current racial and other disparities, profit private corporations and public institutions or legitimize false narratives that paint some of our people as disposable, we have created this popular education curriculum as a tool to engage our communities and support ongoing bail reform work. The curriculum was created through a collaborative effort that included contributions from the Movement for Black Lives Policy Table, Color of Change, Project NIA (with Chicago PIC Teaching Collective), W. Haywood Burns Institute, Brooklyn Bail Fund, Law 4 Black Lives, Critical Resistance, Southerners on New Ground and Andrea Ritchie. In addition to an interactive curriculum and action steps, we have also created an appendix that includes handouts of commonly used terms, resource links, bail reform principles, and facts and figures. We are excited to share the curriculum with you! Please email m4blpolicytable@gmail.com with any feedback you may have. Continue reading