You can donate to our bond & legal defense fund on GoFundMe:
Or donate online at www.episcopalcitymission.org/donate. Select “Beyond Bond and Legal Defense Fund ” when asked about donation type. Gifts are tax deductible.
Checks can be made out to Episcopal City Mission with “Beyond Bond Fund” in the memo line and mailed to: Episcopal City Mission, 138 Tremont St. Boston, MA 02111
How else can I support this work?
To get involved in the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network sign up at www.bit.ly/joinBIJAN
Who administers the bond fund?
Currently, the Beyond Bond & Legal Defense Fund is held by Episcopal City Mission, a 501c3 organization.
How is the money used?
The money is used to pay bond for people who are in immigration prison. When requested from a person in detention we also try to support with legal fees. We are focusing on supporting our neighbors detained at South Bay Detention Center in Boston. We also assist with transportation and other immediate costs for people released from detention.
As an accompaniment network, we follow the leadership of immigrant-led organizations on the front line and believe it is our responsibility to help support their work. The Fund will distribute 10% of funds raised to local immigrant-led justice groups.
Support our hotline phone
One of the key ways that our network connects with folks in immigration jail is through our hotline. Running this hotline costs up to $1500 a month. We need your help paying this phone bill so we can continue doing this vital work. Will you pitch in with a monthly pledge? Even $2 a month will help us meet our goal. And if you can do more please do. If 100 folks did $15 a month we'd be all set.
What is the hotline for?
This hotline is free for the folks in immigration jail because we pay the bill to the phone service provider, Securus. We use it to stay in touch with our community members in immigration jail at Suffolk County House of Corrections so we can support them with court accompaniment, support letters, legal help and bond. We also use it to connect them with their loved ones because many cannot afford regular phone calls to their family and friends.
Why does it cost so much?
Securus is one of the many companies that profit off our prisons. This phone company charges outrageous fees simply because it can. Folks in jail are desperate and have no other option but to pay if they wish to speak to their loved ones.
Is that even legal?
Well there are a whole bunch of folks who don't think so. In fact, Securus is the company involved in a lawsuit accusing the Sheriff of Bristol County in Massachusetts of illegal kickbacks. Here is a quote from a lawyer involved in the lawsuit. You can read more in the Boston Globe or South Coast Today.
“We’re hoping this [case] establishes a principle that these kinds of kickbacks should be illegal everywhere. It’s cruel and senseless to make prisoners’ families pay for the running of the prison through their phone calls. Why should a prisoner’s child be denied that bedtime call because it’s needlessly expensive? Contact with family is known to help prisoners succeed on release.”
—Bonnie Tenneriello, a staff attorney with Prisoners’ Legal Services
Who has been paying for the Beyond hotline so far?
Individual volunteers within our network have been paying out of their own personal funds to keep this hotline going. One woman in particular has been paying it month after month. This is an unfair and unsustainable model. That's why we need your help!