Finding your way out of Misdemeanorland

By John Cole Vodicka

I posted a $1 – yes, one dollar! – cash bond on Friday afternoon to get Terry B. out of jail. Mr. B. had been locked up nine days. He’d been charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing/damage to property.

Because the State tacked on “family violence” to the charge, a new Georgia law prohibits any judge from setting a non-cash bond … Read the rest

Shackled to a system designed to separate, shame

“Like Jim Crow (and slavery), mass incarceration operates as a tightly networked system of laws, policies, customs, and institutions that operate collectively to ensure the subordinate status of a group defined largely by race.”

– Michelle Alexander

By John Cole Vodicka

Friends, we must acknowledge the 400 years of injustice that haunt us.

After enslaved African Americans arrived in Virginia … Read the rest

Convicted of nothing, woman jailed for nearly two weeks for lack of $33

Nancy G.

“Corn cannot expect justice from a court composed of chickens.” 

―African proverb

By John Cole Vodicka

Nancy G. is 54 years old. I took this photograph on this past Friday morning while she and I stood outside the Athens Homeless Day Shelter on North Avenue. Thanks to the Oconee Street United Methodist Church’s Community Bail Initiative, I was … Read the rest