For 23 people in Georgia, Easter miracles were provided to them as they were able to join their families for the holiday. During the Lent season, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church of Lithonia, Georgia launched its Bail Out Program. It was their mission to raise money to help post bond for non-violent or first-time offenders who couldn’t afford to bail out of jail. The church was able to raise $40,000 alone, but once T.I. and Love & Hip Hop Atlanta star Scrapp DeLeon got involved, donations flowed in and rose to $140,000.
The money was used to help 23 people—16 men and seven women—get released from jail in time to spend Easter with their families. “I was ecstatic. I was shocked. I broke down and cried,” Tyron Pollard told Fox 5 News. “It wasn’t just: Here you’re free, you’re on your own, go to the street and do what you gotta do. They’re willing to help.” According to reports, those released will also be connected with a certified mentor that they will meet with weekly to check-in on their progress. Portions of further donations will also be used to set up college funds for children of inmates.
Jamal Bryant, the senior pastor of New Birth, said he wants to make sure that first-time offenders are offered second chances and not just lost to the streets or the system. “It’s almost like finally meeting the good Samaritan—somebody who you don’t know that you didn’t see coming,” Bryant said. “They’re appreciative to be able to press the refresh button.”
Scrapp, who was recently released from jail after being sentenced to five years (he served two) plus 15 years probation on charged of drug trafficking marijuana, shared a video of himself speaking about the Bail Out Program. He also wrote, “Saturday was an amazing experience I had the honor to partner with Dr. @jamalhbryant for #BailOutDay he and @newbirthmbc set a goal of 40k to release inmates behind bars for Non Violent offenses. He exceeded his goal and raised 140k and used part of the money to set up a trust fund/college fund for the kids at #CitizensTrust bank. The released inmates were ever so thankful.”