Our Process

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Our Criteria

BBO wants to “free ‘em all” but we are currently unable to assist everyone who needs help paying bond. BBO, in coordination with partner community bonds funds — in venues including Cook County, Illinois; New Haven Connecticut; and Minneapolis, Minnesota — uses the following interactive factors to evaluate whether we will assist someone who applies for our help paying bond:

  • Incarcerated person identifies as Muslim

  • Inability to pay bond required, including lack of access to family or community resources;

  • Amount of bond to be paid;

  • Existing support system, such as a family member, friend, or case manager who commits to provide assistance making court dates and/or other forms of support;

  • Risk of victimization in the jail, including but not limited to: race, religion, gender identity and expression, people with disabilities, and youth or elder status;

  • Special health needs such as pregnancy, chronic medical conditions, or ongoing mental health treatment;

  • Is a primary caregiver; has dependents or other family members who may be harmed by applicant’s incarceration, including risk of custody loss or Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) involvement;

  • Immigration status and potential immigration consequences of a criminal conviction; risk of deportation;

  • Referral through or connection to established partner organization;

  • Anticipated impact of incarceration on applicant’s employment, housing, educational attainment, and/or custodial rights;

  • Position in relation to structural violence, community disinvestment, systemic racism, survival, and resistance; and

  • Willingness to assist with raising money to cover any anticipated court costs, fines, or fees that will not be refunded to the bond fund.

Because we presume innocence and recognize the harm caused by incarceration BBO will not use the criminal charge as a criterion. One reason BBO is focusing on Muslims in pretrial incarceration is that anti-Muslim racism exposes Muslims to increased risk of victimization and denial of religious freedom in the prison and immigration incarceration systems. 

If you are have a loved one who is in Cook County Jail or on Electronic Monitoring because they cannot pay money bail and need bond support, please call: 1-844-END-BOND or email via https://chicagobond.org/#contact Please mention “Believers Bail Out.”

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