My guest, Michael Gilliland, is the chair of Chattanooga Organized for Action (COA), one of the founding members of CALEB - Chattanooga in Action for Love, Equality, and Benevolence. CALEB seeks to bring various organizations in Chattanooga, including the faith community, together to address issues affecting our community. Their first initiative is creating a Community Bail Fund, an alternative to the tradition cash bail system. In the episode Michael discusses the inadequacies and inequality inherent in a money bail system and the long term debt cycle that keeps our community members trapped in poverty, whether they are guilty of their crimes or not. The Community Bail Fund helps give an opportunity to those in our communities who would otherwise have very few options.
This is an unjust system affecting many of our neighbors and a system that contributes to generational poverty in our community in much the same way that predatory lending keeps people trapped in cycles of debt and poverty.
Referenced in this episode:
- CALEB Website - https://www.calebcha.org/bailfund.html
- CALEB Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/CALEBChatt/
- NY Times Magazine - https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/magazine/the-bail-trap.html