Appolition rounds up your purchases and gives the remainder to help people who can't afford bail

Bail sounds like a simple enough concept: you pay a set amount of money in order to await your day at trial out of jail. But for the thousands of people—about 450,000 per day, according to some estimates—who can’t afford bail, bail means sitting in prison for stretches of weeks or years, often for being unable to pay as little as $100. This accounts for roughly two-thirds of the nation’s prison population, with many of these people forced to lose jobs, homes, or even custody of their children while they await trial.

Appolition (a portmanteau of “abolition” and “app,”) is a new app that hopes to change the fortunes of those who can’t afford bail and restore balance to a two-tiered system that often disadvantages the poor and people of color. When a user signs up for the app, they are able to link a debit or credit card via online banking. Users then spend as normal, but when the app notices a purchase that has at least 50 cents in spare change, it automatically rounds up to the nearest dollar, donating the difference to help pay for bail for those who can’t afford it.

Users are able to stop or resume donations at any time, and can see a history of their donations through the app’s dashboard. All proceeds from the donations go to National Bail Out, which works to free people who sit in jail simply because they can’t afford bail. Since launching last November, the app has signed up over 7,000 users, who combined have raised more than $35,000 and helped pay bail for 11 people, according to Appolition’s founder Kortney Ryan Ziegler.

Appolition


Lead Image: Coins in hand via Shutterstock

Bail sounds like a simple enough concept: you pay a set amount of money in order to await your day at trial out of jail. But for the thousands of people—about 450,000 per day, according to some estimates—who can’t afford bail, bail means sitting in prison for stretches of weeks or years, often for being unable to pay as little as $100. This accounts for roughly two-thirds of the nation’s prison population, with many of these people forced to lose jobs, homes, or even custody of their children while they await trial.