Film Director Chris Jenkins Talks ‘Trapped: Cash Bail in America’ on BNC

The United States has the third largest population in the world behind China and India. However, the U.S. is number one in having the most people locked up behind bars. 

According to Statista, America has 639 prisoners per 100,000 people of the national population. Then there is the issue of cash bail, which is defined as money being paid for someone to get out of jail after an initial arrest. 

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To dive deeper into this matter, there are people who cannot afford to pay their bail because it is expensive. One of the groups affected the most from the cash bail system is people of color. Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely to be poor and struggle to pay out their bail. 

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There is a documentary on YouTube called “Trapped: Cash Bail in America” that explores the cash bail system in America. Chris L. Jenkins, who directed and produced the film, joined Kelly Wright on “BNC Live” for an interview. He says that the cash bail system is an inherently unjust practice. 

“Two people, who are accused of the same crime and may have the same backgrounds, … they both become before the court, and they’re accused of the exact same crime. The person who has $500 in the bank and the person who does not have $500 in the bank, will have two different outcomes for whether they can leave jail or not,” Jenkins said. “The question isn’t so much about whether they are guilty or innocent, … the only issue before the court very often is how much money they have, even if they are accused of the same exact crime.” 

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