The Liberty Fund is New York City’s first city-wide charitable bail fund, founded in partnership with New York City Council, its Committees on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, and Councilmembers Keith Powers and Rory Lancman; the founder and president of The Doe Fund, George McDonald; and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. The Liberty Fund was created to reduce the number of New Yorkers subjected to pretrial detention at Rikers Island simply because they are unable to post bail. The Liberty Fund is a registered 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.
The Liberty Fund helps prevent New Yorkers from having their lives and freedom upended by a misdemeanor charge. By providing bail to qualifying clients who cannot afford to pay bail set at $2000 or less, the Liberty Fund reduces the number of New Yorkers subjected to pretrial detention at Rikers Island.
No one should be incarcerated because they cannot post bail. Pretrial detention can be devastating to individuals and families, sometimes resulting in the loss of a job or housing. Being unable to post bail often forces people to plead guilty, simply to get out of jail. False guilty pleas greatly impact a person’s presumption of innocence and their right to a fair trial.
George T. McDonald, Chairman
Founder and President, The Doe Fund
Chief of Staff, The Doe Fund
Senior Vice President of Research, Covenant House Int’l
Rev. Alfonso Wyatt
Advocate, Educator, and Community Organizer