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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia Eagles players raised money to bail out nine people before the Thanksgiving holiday. The Players Coalition, a group of NFL players, has joined the Defender Association of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund in an effort to reform bail procedures in the city.
“This is for me, a very, very proud moment,” said Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins.
Less than a day after Jenkins made a game-changing interception on the field, he’s leading a press conference on the need for bail reform.
“The cash bail system punishes poverty and nothing else,” said Jenkins.
Last Wednesday, Eagles players and the Eagles Social Justice Fund donated $50,000 to help the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund bailout nine people. Today, they organized this service fair and luncheon that links the bailees to community non-profits.
Chief Defender Keir Bradford-Grey has been working with the Players Coalition, the DA’s office, courts and community groups help those in the justice system who are poor treat addiction, mental health and other problems.
“I lost my house, I lost my car, I lost my job,” said Meyers.
Latanya Meyers spent nine months in prison before being acquitted because she couldn’t post bail.
“In that nine months I technically did a sentence for something that I wasn’t even guilty for,” said Meyers.
Earlier this year, District Attorney Larry Krasner implemented a policy eliminating cash bail for 25 categories of crimes, the effort reduced the county jail population by nearly 25 percent.
Jenkins says he and the Players Coalition and their partners have something to prove.
“Incarceration is not working,” said Jenkins.
And they’ll take the lead with those on the ground by investing in people, not prisons.