After a person is arrested, their first appearance before a judge determines whether they are held behind bars, whether bail is set, or if they are allowed to go home while awaiting trial. This is an arraignment. It is at this time that one goes from being a suspect to a defendant in the criminal justice system.
When money bail is set, a person must stay in jail until their court date if they can’t afford it. A system that determines freedom based on the size of a person’s bank account is a broken system. Faith leaders have a moral imperative to help fix it.
Join Trinity Church Wall Street, Middle Collegiate Church, Central Synagogue, the Interfaith Center of NY, and the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund as we learn about arraignments and travel together to the Manhattan Criminal Court to observe arraignments in person. A volunteer from CourtWatchNYC will also join the event. RSVP for this free event here.