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‘Black Mama’s Bail Out Day’ Aims To Reunite Incarcerated Women With Their Families

Many families will not be able to celebrate Mother’s Day together this weekend due to barriers in the criminal justice system. In the United States, nearly 80 percent of women in jail are mothers, and most of those women are also single parents, according to a 2016 report from the Vera Institute of Justice. 

African-American women are also incarcerated at a higher rate than white women. 44 percent of women in jail are black, according to the report. Many of these women must navigate a money-bail system that disproportionately hurts people of color. Across the South, the non-profit Southerners on New Ground (S.O.N.G.) is raising funds to bail black mothers out of jail and reunite them with their families for the upcoming holiday.

Host Frank Stasio talks about the initiative with Serena Sebring and Courtney Sebring, a mother and daughter who are members of the Triangle-based chapter of S.O.N.G. 

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC. His fascination for audio storytelling and radio journalism began as a broadcast major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his career as a reporter for Carolina Connection, UNC’s student-led radio news show, where Charlie’s work won multiple Hearst Journalism Awards.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.