Effective Compassion
Associated Press/Photo by Eric Risberg (file)

Bail systems get a bailout

Compassion | States’ attempts at reform yield mix results
by Charissa Koh
Posted 8/05/20, 04:02 pm

Kalief Browder spent three years in jail on New York City’s Rikers Island, awaiting a trial that never happened for robbery and assault.

When police charged him for robbery in 2010, the 16-year-old’s family couldn’t afford to pay the $3,000 bail. After three years at Rikers and numerous court delays, prosecutors dropped the charges when the main witness disappeared. Guards and other inmates had abused Browder, who spent months in solitary confinement and attempted suicide multiple times.

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Associated Press/Photo by Ross D. Franklin

Eviction epidemic looms

Compassion | Expiring moratoriums leave renters in limbo
by Charissa Koh
Posted 7/29/20, 03:49 pm

Sherne Byrd lost her job as a home health worker when her client died in March. For months, she found it difficult to find more work. “No one wants any caregiver coming into their home to take care of them during the pandemic, because they’re scared they’ll get COVID-19,” the 35-year-old single mom said.

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Associated Press/Photo by Eric Risberg (file)

Supporting prisoners without seeing them

Compassion | Prison ministries around the country find creative ways to reach inmates
by Seth Johnson
Posted 7/22/20, 02:04 pm

When South Carolina began locking down its prisons in March, the ministry Jumpstart had to quickly adjust. The organization’s leaders and volunteers typically partnered with about 150 trained inmates across 16 different prisons to run a 40-week discipleship program. But in response to COVID-19, prison officials began restricting the inmates’ movement, banning gatherings, and blocking visitors, including Jumpstart volunteers. The group is now limited to sending letters to its inmate leaders, many of whom are doing their best to carry on with classes from their dorms.

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