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BAIL TRAP: American Ransom

Money bail is one of the main causes of mass incarceration in the United States. Yet, most Americans know very little about it. Brave New Films has produced this series – The Bail Trap: American Ransom – to change that.

The money bail system is broken. Private companies make exorbitant profits by scavenging off of communities (primarily of color) living in poverty. Low-income Americans sit in jail for days, months, and even years for minor infractions simply because they can’t afford to pay high bond amounts. The reality is that 70% of Americans are in jail for one simple reason – being too poor. This needs to change.

Watch our Bail Trap series – Breaking Down Bail, Tai’s Story, Deal with the Devil, and How Much Is Your Freedom Worth? – to see how our bail system affects everyday people, even when they haven’t been convicted of a crime. New Jersey's Money Bail Overhaul: A Success Story covers New Jersey’s historic money bail reform.

Total run time for the series - 39:09

Click on the films below to watch or download for free.

New Jersey’s Money Bail Overhaul: A Success Story

The Bail Trap series ends with a success story – New Jersey’s historic money bail reform. On January 1, 2017, New Jersey essentially ended its money bail system. The state’s pretrial incarceration rate has since dropped 17.2%. New Jersey Bail tells the story of Tyler, who was arrested and given probation following an altercation with a relative. The court decided against prison time, and thanks to New Jersey’s system Tyler didn’t have to sit in jail for months to learn his fate. New Jersey’s new pretrial justice system provides hope and best practices for states working to end mass incarceration.