Mommas Behind The Masses (MBM) is launching a bailout fundraiser campaign spearheaded by Hydica Booker, to reunite children with incarcerated parents on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day! This is personal for Hydica whos own son, Eric Smith is a young father currently serving a 25 year sentence for one count of simple possession based on inequitable mandatory minimum laws for controlled substances. In honor of Eric, our goal is to bail out 20 mothers and fathers held on pre-trial cash bail that they can’t afford to pay.
More than 5 million children( a low estimate according to researchers) have had a parent incarcerated at some point in their lives. 74% of people incarcerated in America are being held in pretrial detention, meaning 74% of incarcerated people have not been convicted of a crime.
This bailout extends Eric’s fight for justice to other families torn apart by the same unjust criminal system. Eric was raised in a strong family by two loving parents. He had it all as a kid but tragedy struck when, as a teenager, his dad was killed in a motor cycle accident. Following the sudden death of Eric’s father, he went to jail for the first time at age 19. As a teenager, his first 18 months were spent in solitary confinement, sitting alone in a cell 23 hours a day. Solitary confinement has a range of horrific effects on the psychic wellbeing of a person - including emotional, cognitive, and psychosis-related symptoms - that carry through to their life outside of the penitentiary. Despite the trauma from his isolation, Eric began studying fitness and healthy living in prison with an aim to be a personal trainer, and after he was finally released worked toward that goal outside of prison walls. Eventually, Eric faced a slew of legal issues trying to navigate restraints designed for previously incarcerated individuals to fail when trying to re-enter society.
Mommas Behind The Masses is an initiative under One Village Alliance by a mother who was courageous enough to turn her pain into purpose for mommas and familes with incarcerated loved ones. MBM knows the pain and emotions invoked by the egregious injustices of mass incarceration in the United States and the pervasive impacts it has on our communities. MBM also functions as a safe haven for sharing personal stories, resources, providing a strong network of support by building a community and mobilizing that community in strategic action towards an end to unjust policies, practices, and the system of mass incarceration as a whole.
Thank you for reading! We hope you can help us in honoring Eric by reuniting families torn apart by a racist system of mass incarceration!
With love and solidarity,
Mommas Behind The Masses & Hydica