UUANH takes freedom seriously, and knows that we can’t be free if our family and friends are in cages. Decarceration is the work of getting people out
To help people get off of and stay out of cages, we incubate projects, such as the NH Bail and Bond Fund and the Nashua Host Home Network, in which NH residents work together to meet the needs of immigrants in the Granite State.
UUANH is a member of the NH Immigrant Solidarity Network, which advocates for policies changes at the state and federal level in support of immigrants.
NH Community Bail Fund
The New Hampshire Community Bail Fund is a small team of unpaid volunteers fiscally sponsored by Unitarian Universalist Action New Hampshire. We work as part of the National Bail Fund Network to provide financial assistance to victims who have been incarcerated before being tried for any crime. In many cases, these citizens are accused of misdemeanors like trespassing, shoplifting, and drug possession.
Despite being innocent until proven guilty, they are unable to get out of jail because they can’t afford bail—sometimes as little as $50. Most of the people we work with are held at Valley Street Jail in Manchester, where Covid has frequently been rampant. Many need treatment for mental illness or substance use disorders, which they are unable to receive in jail.
In 2020, we paid 16 bails. In 2021, we paid 47, and we’re on track to triple that in 2022. While the majority of the bails we pay are eventually returned to the fund once our clients’ cases are resolved, it often takes 12-16 months or more to get our funds back. So we depend on supporters to help us continue our work in the face of ever-increasing bail requests and slow bail returns.
Our Work Includes
- Providing bail for people being held at Valley Street Jail in Manchester, NH
- Providing bail for those held in jail elsewhere in the state when possible
- Providing bonds for eligible immigrants detained by ICE in New Hampshire
- Collaborates with other community organizations and agencies to connect clients with services they need
- Working toward an end to cash bail and the transformation of the criminal legal system