we fight the mass jailing of LGBTQ people.

 
 

 
 

Each day, tens of thousands of LGBTQ people are held in jail or immigration detention because they cannot afford bail—for immigration status or charges like sleeping in public.

With your help, the Freedom Fund posts bail to secure their release and safety.

In tandem, we raise awareness of the epidemic of LGBTQ overincarceration. We strive towards a critical mass against mass detention.

Please consider volunteering or supporting us with a donation today.

 

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lgbtq criminalization

Because of whom they love, a tangle of discrimination and poverty disproportionately traps LGBTQ people in jail and immigration detention.

With same-sex sexual activity illegal in over 80 countries, immigration detention is disproportionately felt by LGBTQ asylum seekers.

Queer individuals are also three times more likely to be incarcerated than heterosexual individuals, and over 40 percent of imprisoned women are sexual minorities.

The sweep of criminalization is extraordinary. At some point in their lives, 70 percent of low-income LGBTQ people are homeless by some estimates, and half of homeless people will be incarcerated.

In the decade following the passage of the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), more than two million individuals were sexually assaulted in confinement -- half are estimated to be LGBTQ. LGBTQ youth in detention are 12 times more likely to be sexually assaulted.

 
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OUR HIV/AIDS WORK

Our mission is to curb the disproportionate harms of mass incarceration on the queer community — this means addressing the twin epidemic of HIV, which is inextricably intertwined.

We post bail to preempt the health-harming consequences of jail stays and bring clients into HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention services. Post-release we do on-site HIV rapid testing, HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention counseling and distribute condoms for safer sex.

Based in Florida, we work in a state with the second largest number of prisoners with HIV — three quarters of whom are black — and a metropolitan area with the highest rate of new HIV infections in the U.S.

Mass incarceration and HIV are epidemics driven by many of the same interconnected factors. As the HIV/AIDS activist Laura McTighe said, "Everything comes into focus at the intersection of HIV and mass incarceration: race, class, gender, health care systems, housing, transportation...so you can't just pick one apart."

 
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why bail matters

We post bond to secure the freedom of people in Florida, focusing on LGBTQ people.

Incarcerated, even for a day, an individual is at risk of violence and losing employment, custody of children and housing.

Most suicides in jail occur within the first week.

While those with means are released from confinement, those in poverty face only injurious choices: languish at risk, or accept deportation or a guilty plea to get out of jail—often to crimes they didn’t commit.

For those in need, we provide case management and medical-legal-social services linkages.