To build a restorative community through expertise, visibility and advocacy by movement building amongst grassroots communities and pushing for policy change.
How We Build Power
Deep Center works to organize, support, and build power amongst a broad coalition of everyday people. We bring together community stakeholders, faith communities, unlikely allies, working-class youth and families from communities of color and other marginalized communities to build awareness, critical literacy, networks, power, and skills to lift up young people as social justice leaders, artists, and advocates and transform Chatham County’s and Georgia’s juvenile and criminal justice systems.
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Why Policy Advocacy
Legislation and policy impacts every Georgian’s life. Whether at the city, county, state, school board, or through administrative policy, these decisions and words matter. Deep Center focuses on the decisions that have the greatest potential to impact the lives of young people, their families, and their adult allies.
Advocate With Us
At Deep Center, we want you and your village to have access to more power to say what your community should look like and how your government responds to community need. We’re focusing on legislation at every level and create toolkits to help you amplify your voice and strengthen the work of existing organizing efforts in Savannah. You can take action through volunteering to advocate with us here.
End Cash Bail Savannah
Savannah and Chatham County community leaders are gearing up for a new push to end the practice of Cash Bail in Chatham County, an effort that has long been on the agenda of reform for criminal justice reform activists all over the country. In the face of new legislation enacted at the Georgia state level this year, where bail was made mandatory for more eight new misdemeanor offenses and three new felony offenses, it is important we as citizens understand what is at stake and what we can do about it.
Cash bail is the system under which anyone who has been accused of a crime is required to pay “bail” in order to be freed from jail pending their trial. This is fundamentally unfair because it creates a two-tier system where those who can afford to get out of jail can, and those who cannot, don’t. Furthermore, it directly affects the people who don’t have the money to be released, causing them to be further punished not because of the gravity of their actions but because they simply cannot afford their freedom. Lastly, this practice violates the presumption of innocence, because people are held in jail for days, months and sometimes even years; all this while wealthier citizens are able to go back to their family, their jobs, and other markers of stability.
The closer we look at the issue, the clearer it becomes that the real motive here is not justice, but profit. Along with the Philippines, the United States is the only country where a whole industry has been created for posting bail-bonds. These companies loan money to poor defendants at incredibly high rates, using their need to make money for individuals who don’t live nor have any stakes in our communities. It is no surprise, therefore, that the Bail Bond industry are among the main contributors to the legislators in favor of maintaining the status quo.
Conversations with lawmakers and activists in the Chatham County area signal a healthy dose of skepticism about the benefits of cash bail, as anyone who is familiar with a local jail would be able to tell that paying money up front does not guarantee the person from fleeing anymore than imposing a probation period. The existence of bail is an unnecessary punishment that we are in power to end, but we need more people to be involved with this effort.
If you can help us start doing outreach and lobbying activities sign up the form HERE.