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Block Builders

Published 01/23/2020 | Reading Time 1 min 25 sec 

TULSA, Okla. — Under America’s judicial system, all citizens are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. But that’s not true for people who can’t afford bail. Poverty is criminalized in Oklahoma.

Block Builderz and Together Oklahoma are hosting “Saving Our Future: Ending Cash Bail” on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, at the Historic Vernon AME Church at 311 N. Greenwood Ave., Tulsa, Okla. 74120, at 11 am, a special workshop where attendees will learn about the devastating effects of the cash bail system on communities and families and what citizens can do to make change.

  • In 2016, Oklahoma became the state with the highest per-capita incarceration rate in the U.S, becoming the so-called “prison capital of the world,” according to Prison Policy.
  • In Oklahoma, people accused of nonviolent misdemeanor offenses routinely spend two to six weeks in jail before their case is resolved if they cannot afford their bond. This is nearly twice as long as the national average.
  • In some counties in Oklahoma, the average person accused of a nonviolent felony spends nearly six months in jail if they can’t pay bail.
  • Mass incarceration is a public health crisis that has devastating effects that are crippling entire communities. The justice system’s default approach tears apart families, hurts children and parent-child relationships and harms health.

The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.



D’Marria Monday is a formerly incarcerated woman who uses her voice and experiences to shine a light on the challenges faced by justice-involved Oklahomans. She is the Visionary Founder of Block Builderz, which offers community-led solutions as alternatives to incarceration, as well as Northeast Oklahoma Field Organizer for Together Oklahoma, a criminal justice coalition funded by think tank Oklahoma Policy Institute. In 2018, Monday led a successful legislative grassroots campaign with Rep. Regina Goodwin and Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice to end the shackling of incarcerated pregnant women.

The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...