A nonprofit organization that pays bail for people would face restrictions under a new bill being considered by Indiana lawmakers. The legislation seems to directly target the Bail Project.
The Project has served more than 700 people since it came to Indianapolis. Lena Hackett Coordinator Marion County Reentry Coalition said the national nonprofit organization helps people who are unable to pay low level bail.
“And if they were people who had any kind of means they would pay their low level bail and be out,” Hackett said.
The proposed bill would restrict charitable bail organizations by capping the amount they could pay, limit to only misdemeanors and require bail agents to pay.
Hackett said it shouldn’t matter who pays bail.
“The judge has made the decision that if bail is paid this person can be out and I don’t know why we care who pays it,” Hackett said.
The bill's author is Rep. Peggy Mayfield (R-Martinsville). The proposal is assigned to the Financial Institutions committee.
The Bail Project provided these statistics.
- 67 percent of The Bail Project clients are Black/African American
- Clients have returned to 95 percent of their court dates – which allows the funds that were spent on their bail to be returned to the revolving bail fund.