BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Seven single mothers are reuniting with their children this Christmas after a handful of local organizations, led by YWCA, bonded them out of jail for the holidays.
The nonviolent offenders could not afford to pay bail, meaning they would otherwise have sat in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison until they received a court date or trial.
“This is a system that punishes people because they’re poor,” Baton Rouge defense attorney, Alaina Boothe, said. “They’ve just been accused of something. They have not been convicted of anything."
YWCA sent each of the moms home with a box full of everyday essentials and enrolled the women in programs meant to help them get back on track. Two of the women were sitting in jail pregnant.
“We want to find out what brought them to this situation to begin with and then, how we can help them on their feet and prevent it from ever happening again,” YWCA Baton Rouge CEO Dianna Payton said.
“That’s going to be the happiest moment of my life. Just to see their little faces and I know they’re going to be happy and they’re going to run up to me and I want to kiss them. I miss them, my little stinkers," said Lanice Nolbert, a mom headed home from parish prison.
The non-profits have also agreed to help each of the women navigate their court appearances and legal paperwork.