LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — Ahead of Mother’s Day, there is a push to get Black mothers out of jail.
Organizations across the country are bailing Black mothers out of jail for Mother’s Day. Here in Las Vegas eight moms get out in time to spend Mother’s Day with their families. Often, they are serving time for traffic tickets or even a suspended licenses. Moms end up in jail because they have no way to pay.
This week three local Black moms got a priceless Mother’s Day gift: their freedom.
To raise money to get more black mamas out or jail, there was a fundraiser Thursday night with a silent auction, gift cards, art, music and food in Downtown Las Vegas.
“You are criminalizing people for being poor… Most of the time when people don’t pay their tickets it is because people don’t have the money, not because they don’t want to. Do I pay my rent, or do I pay this ticket?,” Akiko Cooks asserted.
Cooks with the Mass Liberation Project and Black Mama Bailout said people need to care and stop putting mother’s in cages taking them away from their children when sometimes women are sitting in jail with a bail as low as $50.
“AB 161 and AB 115 are bills that we have up right now that have already passed through the assembly, going to the senate, to decriminalize traffic tickets. It doesn’t make sense for anyone to be sitting in a cage for a traffic ticket,” Cooks contended.
“Like you feel trapped, you feel stuck, you feel like you are not coming home,” shared Tarece Melchor who is now part of the Black Mama Bailout group. Last year, the group paid to get her out of jail just before Mother’s Day.
“When I first found out that someone would bail me out that didn’t know me at all from a can of paint, I was so shocked, and I was amazed, and I was so thankful,” Melchor recalled.
Melchor has gone from being incarcerated to helping free others.
“I just knew that I had another chance at life because I just felt like I had no way out,” Melchor shared.
Melchor argues that no Mother’s Day gift could ever compare to being back home and being a mom.
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