LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Instead of sitting in the Pulaski County jail Monday night, a handful of moms who couldn’t afford bail, celebrated their freedom.
It’s part of a Mother’s Day push organized by local activists to bail out parents locked up for minor offenses.
Cell phone video captured the moment Kennedy Lindsey walked free Saturday and reunited with her 16-year-old son.
“My life is out here with son, out here with my family,” she said. “I can’t go through this again. It’s not for me. It’s not my life.”
Lindsey says she was initially locked up because she couldn’t afford a monthly court fine dating back to a 2015 case. Working at a fast food chain, she says she lives paycheck to paycheck, and injury set her back.
“I had just had surgery on my arm from breaking my shoulder,” she explained. “That was my downfall on my end, I should have let them know.”
The 34-year-old says she sat in jail for a month because she didn’t have $500 to pay bail. In that time she missed her son’s 16th birthday and Easter, with the surprise bailout coming just in time to let her celebrate Mother’s Day at home.
“Besides having him [my son], this Mother’s Day was the best day of my life,” she said.
Camille Richoux is one of the organizers who says they got enough donations to help six women, all facing similar situations to Lindsey.
“You can lose your job, you could lose your house, you could lose custody of your children,” Richoux said. “We basically had a list of moms. We started researching how much their bail was trying to see how much we could afford to get out in that day.”
Richoux calls the bailouts Saturday a snapshot of what could happen.
“The big dream is to have a permanent bail fund,” she said,
It’s help Lindsey knows no dollar amount can repay, calling her downfall a wake up to put what she needs to do in perspective.
“I have to stand up and be the women that I know I can be, and the woman that I know I am,” she said.