LITHONIA, Ga. (CBS46) Several non-violent offenders are out of jail, thanks to a local church.
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church raised more than $100,000 dollars to bail out twenty-three people.
Anthony Gordon was one of those offenders. He talked with CBS46’s Bobeth Yates about the 30 plus days he spent in DeKalb County Jail after being arrested on theft charges.
“I started off with no bond and ended up with a bond but my family couldn’t post it and by God’s grace, the church bonded me out,” Gordon told CBS46.
Gordon was among the 23 nonviolent offenders given a second change because of the church.
Pastor Jamal Bryant says he challenged the church to raise $40,000 for the program but instead they raised $120,000.
“Prisons have taken the place of plantations of how it is that we are unduly charged and sentenced and it’s reflective that the church can’t be on the sideline. We have to be on the frontline of the issue,” said Pastor Bryant.
And the effort morphed into a regional movement with a partnership with rapper T.I., reality TV star Scrapp DeLeon and multiple community organizations and local sheriff’s offices. They will be proving wrap round services to help the men and women assimilate back into society.
“These young people should be on campuses not prison yards, so we want to shift and reverse the tide,” continued Pastor Bryant.
An effort that Gordon says, is well worth it.
“They need to keep doing what they’re doing. There are many, many other people just like me. What they’re doing gives us a real hope.”