Our Criteria

We would love to free everyone, but we are currently unable to assist everyone who needs help paying bond. We will continue to work towards eliminating monetary bond in Winnebago County.

Winnebago Bond Project uses the following factors to determine whether we can assist with a received application for help:


  • Inability to pay bond required, including lack of access to personal, family or community resources.

  • Amount of bond to be paid.

  • Existing support system, such as a family member, friend, or case manager who commits to provide assistance making court dates and/or other forms of support.

  • Risk of victimization in the jail, including but not limited to: race, religion, gender identity and expression, people with disabilities, and youth or elder status.

  • Special health needs such as pregnancy, chronic medical conditions, or ongoing mental health treatment.

  • Is a primary caregiver; has dependents or other family members who may be harmed by applicant’s incarceration, including risk of custody loss or Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) involvement.

  • Referral through or connection to established partner organization.

  • Anticipated impact of incarceration on applicant’s employment, housing, educational attainment, and/or custodial rights.

  • Position in relation to structural violence, community disinvestment, systemic racism, survival, and resistance.

  • Willingness to assist with raising money to cover any anticipated court costs, fines, or fees that will not be refunded to the bond fund.

We presume innocence and recognize the harm caused by incarcerations, so Winnebago Bond Project will not use the criminal charge as criteria.