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Father’s Day bailout: 10 Philly dads get to spend the holiday with their kids

June 14, 2019, Michaela Winberg - Billy Penn

Ten Philly dads almost missed the chance to spend Father’s Day with their kids, until a local organization stepped in and deployed a crowdfunding effort to help them.

Criminal justice nonprofit Frontline Dads is running its first bailout program specifically geared toward the parenting holiday. On Thursday, executive director Reuben Jones coordinated the release of nearly a dozen fathers from Philly jails — so they could celebrate in person with their families this weekend.

“This is our opportunity to focus on fathers as caregivers of children,” Jones told Billy Penn. “Even though you may be incarcerated, sometimes you’re the only male figure a child may have.”

The Father’s Day Bailout was inspired by a maternal counterpart. The Mama’s Day Bailout is a national program, with a local iteration run last month by the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund.

To be clear, none of the dads who are getting bailed out this week have been convicted of a crime. Bail happens before that. After someone gets charged, a judge sets a price for their release while they await trial. If the person can’t afford the amount, they stay locked up until their case is heard — which can sometimes take years.

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