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Justice reform non-profit posts record number of bail for those who can't afford it

Just City spends around $200,000 a year on bail

MEMPHIS, Tennessee —

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the reports of high numbers of cases in jails have topped headlines. That means the work of local justice reform non-profit Just City hasn't halted.

In fact, according to the organization's director, Josh Spickler, they are doing record numbers of bails helping 100 people out of jail and to court.

Spickler says that's the most Just City has done in any 2-month period since the organization began posting bail for people who could not afford it.

Just City spends around $200,000 a year on bail to show lawmakers that those without the money to get out of jail before trial  don't always see justice the same as those who do.

"I think that's an indication of how addicted we are to incarceration in this community. If freedom would be for jail we are abusing our jail and we are putting a price tag on freedom at a time when staying in jail could be a death sentence," said Spickler

Spickler says while the return of bail money to the organization has slowed because of delayed court dates due to the pandemic Just City has been fundraising.

The response, even during this time, has been supportive, Spickler says with donations from national and local organizations coming in for this work.

RELATED: Amid COVID-19, "Just City" is on a mission to get low-risk inmates out of the Shelby County Jail

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