The Bail Trap: American Ransom


Money bail is one of the main causes of mass incarceration in the United States. Yet, few people know what the money bail system is, let alone how it all works or why we need to do away with it.

That’s why Brave New Films' has produced a short film compilation about America’s broken bail system: The Bail Trap: American Ransom. This ongoing short-film series includes: Breaking Down Bail – unpacking the myths and the history of bail; Tai's Story: College or Bail? – a documentary about a young woman and the $100,000 price-tag put on her freedom; Deal with the Devil – a cautionary film about the dangers of plea deals; How Much is Your Freedom Worth? – a compilation of spoken-word poetry performed by artists who have been formerly incarcerated; and Lessons for the Nation: New Jersey’s Cash Bail Overhaul – a success story about New Jersey’s historic money bail reform which has led to a near 20% decline in the state’s pretrial incarceration rate.  

The reality is that 70% of people in jail are there for one reason: living in poverty. Low-income Americans are sitting in jails for days, months, and even years simply because they can’t afford to pay high bail amounts. All the while, private companies are profiting in the billions each year. This must end. Sign up to host a house party or screening of The Bail Trap: American Ransom today! 

Together, let’s take action against money bail and help end mass incarceration!