The Facts

Myth:  The NCBF is about to shut down.

Truth: The NCBF isn’t going anywhere. Our work will continue until no one remains in Nashville’s jail simply because he doesn’t have the money to buy his pretrial liberty.

Myth: The NCBF is a bonding company.

Truth: The NCBF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that deposits the full cash bail amount set by a judge on behalf of people in jail pretrial who do not have the money to pay their own bail. Because the NCBF does not make bails for profit, it is not a bonding company.

Myth: The NCBF has a “high forfeit rate.”

Truth: A “forfeit” occurs when someone misses court, and the vast majority of NCBF participants go to court. Since it began operating almost three years ago, the NCBF has bailed out nearly 700 people. Through April 2019, about 500 of them have resolved their cases – half without any conviction at all – and the vast majority of the remaining participants are in good standing with the court. To date, the NCBF has only forfeited $6,000.

Myth:  The NCBF doesn’t care about getting people back to court, and does nothing to track down participants who have missed a court date.

Truth: The NCBF understands that when our participants miss court, it’s often because they face challenges getting there, including transportation, work schedules, childcare, health problems and miscommunication. To help prevent missed court dates, the NCBF sends text message reminders about upcoming court dates, and even gives free phones to participants without one. When someone misses court, the staff immediately begins trying to contact that person and their references to remedy the problem. Our goal is to see every participant succeed in the community.

Myth: Someone who pays no money to get out of jail has no incentive to return to court; someone who pays money to get out of jail has more of an incentive to return to court.

Truth: Paying money has nothing to do with whether someone comes back to court. How do we know? Because in places outside Nashville, like New Jersey, people aren’t required to pay money, and they come back to court.

Myth: Freedom is free.

Truth: In Nashville, some people are trying to make sure freedom isn’t free.