Did you know: Every year, millions of Americans are incarcerated without being able to escape because they can’t afford to pay their bail?
What’s known as the “cash bail system” has inadvertently led both the unconvicted and sometimes the innocent to stay behind bars for weeks, months, and in some cases years. Fed up with the obvious downsides of cash bail system and who it hurts the most – poor and disadvantaged Americans – two Chicago-based residents developed an app that lets people donate spare change to help those who can’t get out of jail when they can’t afford it.
Combining “abolition” and “app”, “Appolition” takes spare change and turns it into bail money. As creator Tiffany Mikell along co-founder Kortney posted to her Twitter accoount in 2017: “An app that converts your daily change into bail money to free black people.”
The app was inspired by the millions of stories of people around America who live locked up and can’t pay their way out.
Who the Bail App Helps
A major example, and key motivation, for the app was Denoureaux Wolf, a young man in his twenties who was on a ride home with friends in the spring of 2016 when his they got pulled over by a police officer. The officer stopped the passenger for not wearing seat belts, but ended up taking Wolf out of the vehicle, where he was wrestled to the ground by local officials. A friend recorded the incident on their camera phone to collect evidence, but it was Wolf – and not the police officer – was charged with three counts of aggravated battery. Without a conviction, Wolf ended up spending 3 ½ months in the Cook County Jail. His bond was set to the exorbitant amount of $30,000.
Wolf finally found freedom when he contacted the Chicago Community Bond Fund (CCBF). In a promotional video for CCBF, Wolf said, “I wound up getting assaulted by an officer, and somehow I end up getting charged for assaulting him.”
The issue is much more common than one would imagine. One of CCBF’s clients reported being held on a minor charge for 2,072 days – the equivalent of roughly five and a half years spent in jail.
“Appolition” Goes Nationwide
Although inspired by their community, Mikell and Ziegler released their app to the entire United States and contribute the spare change to local charities across America. National Bail Out (NBO) is a combination of 13 different organizations united to eradicate the cash bail system. But apps like “Appolition” are a way for the ordinary person to donate to the cause to anyone in the country.
How Does the App Work?
Appolition first connects all of the user’s debit accounts they use in their daily purchases. Once the app combines these accounts, it rounds up every purchase to the nearest dollar.
Users can make their purchases throughout the day and contribute to a worthy cause. The bail bonds app is linked to a community of charitable bail funds, all of which receive the money that gets raised through Appolition. The app works with all banking institutions, but deals in debitory accounts only. Another bonus: 85% of all contributions are tax-deductible.
For users to track how much they spent, the app lists “APPOLITION” on their banking statement and with a short notice of how many funds were donated. Thousands of banks, including the most popular, are compatible to the app.
And just in case users want to pause giving or check how much they’ve donated, they can pause their contributions and see their dashboard history.
ABC Bail Bonds: Your Way Out in Houston, TX
Appolition hopes that more Americans will be set free each year without having to worry whether they will ever make ends meet. And whether wrongfully incarcerated or in need of a second chance, the app lets users give those behind bars a much-needed break. When you or a loved one needs to get out of jail in Harris County, call the friendly professionals at ABC Bail Bonds! We are available 24/7 for your convenience.