Tech entrepreneur creates app to convert spare change into bail - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Tech entrepreneur creates app to convert spare change into bail donations

(Source: KPIX) (Source: KPIX)
California tech entrepreneur Kortney Zeigler is trying to change the bail system a few cents at a time. (Source: KPIX) California tech entrepreneur Kortney Zeigler is trying to change the bail system a few cents at a time. (Source: KPIX)
(WAFB/KPIX) -

California tech entrepreneur Kortney Zeigler is trying to change the bail system a few cents at a time.

"The name is genius, I came up with it," Zeigler said.

Zeigler is the co-founder of "Appolition,"  a new app that let users convert spare change into bail money, specifically for black people.

"We're primarily the ones who are being arrested, so I think it's important to drive efforts to the ones who are being affected the most," Zeigler told CBS-affiliate KPIX.

Appolition, which takes its name from the word 'abolition,' uses a familiar model as spare change apps start to trend.

Users can enroll by linking their bank account, make purchases as normal. Purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar and donated automatically each time they reach at least .50 cents in spare change. All the money collected goes to bail out black men and women who have been charged with misdemeanors and are awaiting trial.

"I think a lot of people have misconceptions about bail," Zeigler said. "I think it's like anyone who commits a crime can get bail.  That's not how it works."

Zeigler says suspects in California faces an even bigger obstacle where the average bail is typically five times higher than the rest of the country.

"In California, it's $2,500 to bail someone out, in Alabama it's like $300," Zeigler said.

He first announced the app in during the summer with a well-received tweet.

"An app that converts your daily change into bail money to free black people," the tweet simply said.

Less than four months later, Zeigler announced the launch of the app, becoming its first customer.

"Today I'm linking my bank account to become the first customer," Zeigler tweeted.

The app comes just in time for the holidays. "We're getting to take advantage of holiday spending," Zeigler said. "And also get folks home for the holidays."

For more information on Appolition, visit their website here.

Copyright 2017 WAFB.CBS Interactive Inc. contributed to this story. All Rights Reserved.

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