Posted on May 11, 2020

Black Women Bailed Out of Jail for Mother’s Day Courtesy of Prison Reform Group

Wendy Rhodes, Palm Beach Post, May 11, 2020

Six incarcerated South Florida women were able to spend Mother’s Day with their families, thanks to a coordinated effort to free black women from jails led by the national organization Black Mama Bail Out.

Black Mama Bail Out, a collective of grassroots organizers, activists and formerly incarcerated women, posted bonds Sunday morning ranging from $600 to $14,000 for women who could not otherwise afford bail.

Five women in Miami were bailed out, as was one, Kenria Woodson, from the Palm Beach County Jail in West Palm Beach.

“I feel good, because I have help from somebody,” said Woodson, a soft-spoken 20-year-old who was jailed Wednesday on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, trespassing and failure to comply with coronavirus ordinances.

The Palm Beach County public defender’s office worked with Black Mama Bail Out to identify Woodson as a good fit for the project.

“We’re so grateful that they’re doing this and are going to get some of these women home with their families,” said Jennifer Loyless, a project coordinator at the public defenders’ office. “The reality of this is that these women are among many in jail who are there simply because they cannot afford to post their bond.”

Working for the first time with Black Mama Bail Out, local activists Tray Johns and Foxxy Manning coordinated the release. The couple, veterans and co-founders of FedFam4Life, greeted Woodson with smiles and a “Happy Mother’s Day” sign as she walked out of jail into the Sunday morning rain.


FedFam4Life, a non-profit charity working to fee black women from prison, provided Woodson, who was identified by the sheriff’s office as homeless, a $50 gift card, cell phone and a gift bag stuffed with toiletries and personal hygiene products. They plan to speak with Woodson again Monday to help coordinate a job and make sure she has a place to stay.

Johns and Manning said their goal in partnering with Black Mama Bail Out is to take the program one step further by making sure women who are released from jail have the resources to obtain jobs and housing. {snip}


“They are forced to languish in jail, causing their families and communities to suffer,” New Florida Majority Campaign Director Valencia Gunder said about the result of not being able to afford bail. “We are bailing out black mamas because they are caregivers, nurturers, and the backbone of our families. They deserve to be praised, loved, and uplifted — not locked in cages.”