Problem

Over 66% of city and county jail inmates are pretrial detainees. These are people who are legally innocent under the law because they have not yet been to trial. Yet they remain in jail for weeks, months or even years simply because they cannot raise bail. Some of them have bail amounts of $100 or less. It has a devastating impact on both the person detained and their friends and family.

Not every person that is arrested will be found guilty of the offense that they are charged. We know that a pretrial detainee's ability to raise bail is directly proportional to the number of friends, family, and followers that they can contact. Every pretrial detainee should be provided with as many options as possible to maximize their ability to free themselves from jail.

No one should be held hostage by a pay phone.

Solution

We are building hardware kiosks and tablets for county jails. The devices allow pretrial detainees to send hundreds of arrest notifications to friends, family and followers via social media, text messaging and E-mail. Message based arrest notifications are delivered faster and have a higher response rate than typical phone call.

We are building a blockchain based fund raising platform for bail. Friends and family will be able to raise bail in crypto currency. Fund raising is managed by a smart contract. All transactions will be recorded to the Ethereum Blockchain to ensure immutability and transparency.

We are building an advanced attorney advertisement network. Attorneys will be able to advertise to the friends, family and followers of a detainee within seconds after they respond to an arrest notification. Friends and family can raise money to hire an attorney for representation at arraignment. This ensures the pretrial detainee will receive a fair bail amount. Friends and family pay attorney fees in tokens. Attorneys pay advertising fees in tokens.

We are building an angel network. There are community bail funds in major cities accross the country. They use donations from local philanthropists to post bail for the indigent pretrial detainees. These organizations post bail (intead of bond) so that they can recycle the money once the detainee returns for trial. It's a great system but it's limited by how much money is available in the fund at any given time. Our angel network will allow private individuals to help indigent pretrial detainees charged with misdemeanors raise money for bail.

We are building a financial system for deposit bail. Processing credit card payments for bail has traditionally been considered high risk. By using our own currency, we eliminate the risk of chargebacks and are able to transfer funds instantly and a at much lower cost to the consumer. Funds are guaranteed with zero chargebacks and available instantly to county clerks using the Help Bond Me Ethereum debit card.

Team

Ben McFarlin
Founder, CEO, CTO

Ben McFarlinBen founded Help Bond Me in 2016. He is very passionate about technology, pretrial, criminal justice and bail reform. He holds a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern University A&M College and attended graduate school at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a graduate of the Tech Wildcatters startup accelerator in Dallas, Texas and the NewMe startup accelerator in Miami, Florida. Ben developed both the hardware and software for the Help Bond Me system. It is currently patent pending.

Chris Minters
VP of Product

Chris MintersChris is an accomplished senior level information technology professional, highly skilled in project management, supply chain operations, and technology implementations. Through his project management and technical insight, Chris is a positive force in building and maintaining strategic relationships and efficient partnerships with vendors, clients, and colleagues around the world. He holds a MBA in Entrepreneurship from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from Strayer University.

Sttefany Bencosme
Growth Catalyst

Sttefany BencosmeSttefany has a bachelor degree in International Business from UNAPEC. she comes from Dominican Republic and has over 3 years experience on market research, project management, administrative assistance, customer service, sales and retentions. Is a native spanish speaker with fluency in english and french. She's a team player, self-motivated, patient and enthusiastic person.

Progress

November 2015

Developed MVP

May 2016

Developed
Tablet Application

January 2017

Developed
Kiosk Application

June 2017

Signed Letter of Intent
Cook County Jail
Chicago, IL