Based on the current estimate for the average length of pretrial detention in Philadelphia (100 days), we have prevented over 4000 days of pretrial detention in the city’s jails by securing freedom for Philadelphians.
Once bailed out, our clients are able to fight their cases from a position of freedom and the results speak for themselves - over 65% avoided conviction altogether and none of those convicted received jail time. If they had been in pretrial detention, research says that many of our clients would have been coerced into pleading guilty to get out of jail.
(Note: Most PBF clients have yet to resolve their cases. This statistic is based on outcomes in all clients’ cases that have concluded.)
On average, the bail we posted was just $2,000. Given that 40% of American households report that they cannot cover an emergency $400 expense, $2,000 is clearly out of reach for many of the Philadelphia families with loved ones in pretrial detention.
Research demonstrates that just three days in pretrial detention has a severe destabilizing effect on people’s lives. Individuals risk losing their jobs, housing, and even custody of their children. The Philadelphia Bail Fund has been largely successful to this point in posting bail for clients within 48 hours of their arrest, minimizing the negative effects that our clients face.
Over 90% of our clients appear for their required court appearance. This undermines the argument made by the bail bonds industry and some policymakers that monetary bail is necessary to incentivize individuals to show up to court.
Kim, an employed mother of two with one on the way, was arrested and assigned $25,000 monetary bail ($2,500 needed for release). She was detained for nearly sixteen hours at Riverside Correctional Facility because of her inability to pay for her freedom. Thanks to the Philadelphia Bail Fund, Kim was able to fight her case from home. Months after her arrest, her case was dismissed and all charges were dropped. Kim, now a mother of three, is home with her family and never spent a night in pretrial detention for a case that was ultimately dismissed.
Homeless and unemployed, Vivian was assigned $50,000 cash bail ($5,000 needed for release) and could not afford to secure her freedom. Within hours of her arraignment, the Philadelphia Bail Fund was able to pay her bail and secure her release from the Police Detention Unit. Vivian did not have to spend one day in jail, and with assistance from the Philadelphia Bail Fund, has attended every court hearing. Vivian’s case is still ongoing, but without having her bail paid, she would have already spent over 5 months detained in jail.
Khalil, 19, was assigned $10,000 bail ($1,000 needed for release) when he was arrested early this year. After multiple court hearings, extending over four months, Khalil’s case resulted in no jail time. Had bail not been paid, Khalil, who had never been arrested before, would have spent months in jail without ever being convicted of a crime.