A Mother’s Day gift seven moms were not expecting -- to be bailed out of jail.
On Thursday and Friday night, seven women were released from Las Colinas Detention Facility when a local non-profit called the DeDe McClure Community Bail Fund used donation money to bail them all out in time for their special day.
“They bailed me out, and I had no idea. My family couldn’t afford that,” said mother and grandmother, Victoria Padilla.
Padilla was arrested earlier this week on a non-narcotic charge, she said. Padilla said her bail was $2,000, a price she couldn’t afford and would’ve kept her in jail until her court date. But the group of women behind the DeDe McClure Community Bail Fund – an organization Padilla didn’t even know about – bailed her out without telling her beforehand.
“I said, ‘Who are you?’ I said, ‘Thank you, God, thank you, God,’ because this is truly a godsend,” Padilla told NBC 7.
The non-profit started nearly a year ago when it bailed out moms before last Mother’s Day, according to Nadia Contreras, a DeDe McClure Community Bail Fund spokesperson.
Contreras said they raised about $25,000 to bail them out and help create gift baskets, which included feminine hygiene products, gifts cards, and a limited pre-paid cell phone.
The DeDe McClure Community Bail Fund said in a statement to NBC 7 it does this because it is the right thing to do:
“There is a group of us. We believe we can make this world better through direct action. Women, poor women and women of color have endured so much trauma. We believe healing, support and rehabilitation is far better than punishment. We believe we can make a better world. While we bailed out various women, we work with an emphasis on black and brown women because black people are twice as likely to be held in jail pre-trial than their white counterparts. Women are often caretakers in the home so this creates an undue burden on them, factor in race and this just becomes that much more exacerbated. … For those with families and jobs, staying in jail means possibly losing your job, housing and/or custody of your children. This creates an economic hardship and often leads to re-entering the system. This bailout works to help to prevent that.”
Two of the women were arrested for sleeping outside, according to Contreras.
“It’s not OK. That’s not the way to rehabilitate people who made a bad choice, you know. They are not bad people, they made a bad a choice,” said Contreras.
The organization selects women who have been booked into jail for low-level offenses and cannot make bail on their own. Then, it offers longer-term support.
“We want to make sure we provide full support to all women coming out, so we know, within our reach, we can provide housing, mental wellness services -- maybe rehabilitation,” Contreras told NBC 7.
Contreras is also a mother and was arrested last August for a non-violent offense, she said.
“I know what it feels like to be pulled apart from your children,” said Contreras.
The non-profit plans to help bail out more women and men as their donations grow. To donate, visit the organization’s website.