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Local nonprofit bails three men out of jail on Juneteenth, just in time for Father’s Day

Published: Jun. 20, 2021 at 10:22 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 11:51 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - In a state where more people are incarcerated per capita than any other, several men are getting the chance to go home to await trial, it’s a chance for families to be reunited just in time for Father’s day.

During Father’s Day weekend, that happened for Shawn Phillips.

“I haven’t seen my daughter in over a year and by me coming home for Father’s Day, I am getting the privilege to be able to see my daughter for first time in about 16 months,” says Phillips.

Phillips was booked on drug charges, he didn’t have money for bail, and that’s where the Bail Project comes in. They help people awaiting trial who have families back home struggling to make ends meet. “I have been praying the whole time I have been here, and it’s like seeing angels out here knowing that people support us when we make mistakes. There are programs out there who are willing to help us not only just the bond project, but the rehabilitation for people like myself,” adds Phillips.

Phillip walked out a free man, thanks to the Bail Project and other similar organizations.

Two other men are getting the chance to go home too.

“There are organizations that are all here and they are able, in conjunction with the Bail Project to bail individuals out and it’s a wonderful thing to have fathers home with their families,” says Sherie Thomas with the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition. The Coalition actually comes out every third Saturday of the month the caravan around the prison, blaring their horns to show their support from inside the prison remind them that they are not alone.

Other organizations like A Bella LaFemme Society was there passing out goodie bags to those who just got out today. “It’s more of a symbolic act today it’s Juneteenth and I have always celebrated Juneteenth since I was a child, but more importantly it’s Father’s Day,” says Laketa Smith who is the Executive Director of A Bella LaFemme Society.

“Knowing that there is people who believe in us in having a second chance, it means a lot because a lot of people in there don’t have that, and they don’t get to make phone calls,” says Phillips as he gets in his car to drive home to see his family.

The Bail Project plans on posting bail for more people Monday.

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