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Bail FAQ

Do I have to pay The Bail Project back if you post bail for me or someone I’ve referred?

Our services are 100% free of charge and voluntary. We pay bail for people at no cost to them. We will never ask you to repay the bail assistance provided. If you receive an inquiry from someone claiming to be from The Bail Project and asking for money to pay bail for you or someone you know, please do not send any money. Instead, contact us directly.

Who is eligible for bail assistance?

Several factors determine eligibility for free bail assistance, including our ability to establish a supportive release plan. As long as the person you’re looking to refer is being detained in a jurisdiction we operate in, we would encourage you to refer to them to us.

The person needing bail assistance is being detained outside one of the jails you have listed. Can you still help?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide assistance to people outside the facilities where we operate. If you’d like to be updated when we offer bail assistance in new locations, please sign up for our email list.

How quickly will someone be released after I’ve submitted a referral?

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that every person referred will receive bail assistance. After we receive a referral, a member of our staff will conduct preliminary research to determine a person’s eligibility for our program. We confirm bond amounts, check for any outstanding holds or warrants that would prevent their release and confirm that the person is detained at a location where we work.

Once we confirm eligibility, we will move forward with our intake process. Our intake includes personally meeting with the individual and establishing a supportive release plan. Sometimes things arise that may hold up our process and cause delays. Those factors include but are not limited to: individuals not being present for the interview, interview slots being filled for the week, or technical issues during virtual interviews. Other times we are waiting to receive legal information or additional information from the attorney in order to finalize the supportive release plan. If any critical needs are identified during our intake process, we also have to verify that our network of community partners and social services providers can meet those needs.

During this entire process, we will provide weekly status updates to the referring party until we determine whether we can post bail for the person referred.

What happens if my contact information changes?

It’s crucial that we have up-to-date contact information to post bail for someone. Whether you are currently a Bail Project client or you have submitted a referral and are waiting for a decision on whether The Bail Project will be able to support you, please contact us if your contact information has changed.

I submitted a referral, but haven't heard back yet. Should I follow up?

Please do not submit a referral more than once. After you submit a referral, you will receive an automatic response. A member of our staff will directly follow up with you within 48 to 72 hours.

If my referral request is denied, can I submit another one?

While we take note of individual circumstances when determining a person’s eligibility, sometimes a person will be disqualified for reasons that include but are not limited to bail amount (we prioritize lower bail amounts in order to help as many people as possible with our limited resources), having outstanding warrants and holds that could prevent a person from being released even if we pay their bail, or unavailability of adequate community-based resources to support the person post-release. If a person is disqualified, a member of our staff will notify them and provide next steps.

How can I support The Bail Project?

Every day, people like you, who make up The Bail Project community, are coming together to transform our criminal justice system. ​​​​ Whether you’ve just discovered The Bail Project or have been following our work for a while, you’re one of thousands of people who share your passion for a more just and equitable criminal justice system. You can sign up to receive regular updates about The Bail Project and its work, read and share inspiring stories about some of the people we have helped, or support our work as a donor. You can also visit our careers page to learn about any current openings.

We hope we answered your question. Would you like to learn more?