The Family Bond


Your Honor,

We would like to present to you a new entity, the Family Bond. It harkens back to an era, not so long ago, when the accused was given release on his or her own recognizance, as a matter of course. This was a time before bail bonds became big business, and opportunists found another way to make money off of the prison system, at the taxpayer’s expense. Pre-trial incarceration cost the nation $9 billion, just this year. We can make a difference. We can bring back fiscal responsibility by once again considering the accused innocent until proven guilty. We risk abridging 13th and 14th amendment rights if we continue to incarcerate people, i.e. hold them in involuntary servitude, or worse, profit off of their incarceration, simply because they are too poor to pay their bond.

When we ourselves are comfortable, it is difficult to remember that even a $100 bond may completely out of reach for some of us.

The Family Bond is a method of determining the likelihood the accused to return to face trial, without depending on access to funds as a metric. Clearly, if a person has strong ties to the community, loves his children and is deeply involved in their upbringing, is gainfully engaged as, for example, like Jawara McIntosh, a performing artist with an international reputation, who has a cohesive family that works together. A man such as this is not a flight risk. Certainly, unsavory people have access to large sums of money to pay off a bond. Good people often don’t.
What follows is an introduction to the man who appears before you, and a request for bail on his own recognizance.
Who is Jawara McIntosh? He’s a 33 year old, internationally known, working musician, father and family man, who publicly dedicated himself to righteousness and the betterment of mankind. As son of the legendary Peter Tosh, Jawara is an involved and compassionate community member who continues to carry forth his father’s legacy of service to truth and consciousness. He has never been convicted of a crime, despite falsehoods printed about him in local newspapers immediately following his arrest. He is no threat to himself, nor to the community. On the contrary, Jawara has always used his extraordinary musical talent and charisma to encourage and uplift the downtrodden, and help the poor and oppressed recognize their innate human dignity. His message is one of spirit, awareness and human connection.
He travels throughout the United States and Europe spreading the message of self-worth and inner strength, through his music, lyrics and talks.
Jawara is the loving father of four healthy, happy, well cared for children, all under ten years of age. In fact, the well being of children has long been a focus of Jawara’s community involvement. He is a peacemaker, who works tirelessly, with his brothers and sisters, to heal and repair broken lives. Though he lost his father when he was just a boy, he was nurtured in the bosom of a large extended family, where he learned human values of truth, peace, love, righteous action, and non-violence. He is a respected and well-liked member of the musical community. He loves his family, respects his fans, and has every reason, both internal and external, to return to face trial as a responsible citizen. As a spiritual man, a man of god and scripture, making money, or accumulating things was never the focus of his life. Being true to himself, and his principles, is.
And like so many others from his community, neither Jawara McIntosh, nor his family, have means to secure an excessive financial bond. He does, however, have deep family ties, and an extensive, projected work schedule. Yet, since June he has been unable to be a father to his children, or work as a musician, because he cannot come up with tens of thousands of dollars to secure his release. Since he is considered eligible for bail if he had the money, lack of money is the sole reason he cannot leave district jail to reunite with his family, record more music, and return to work. No one should be incarcerated simply for lack of means, and in fact, an understanding of this basic principle is embedded in our nation’s laws. Yet, as in the case of so many others, Jawara finds himself in a situation comparable to debtor’ prison, a despised and discredited institution.
How do we, as a country, find ourselves repeating this terrible mistake of the past, where class and monetary standing determines whether one has access to the full measure of protection under our nation’s law? Naturally, the court wants to insure compliance with its rules, but, in spite of what those who make their usurous business funding financial bonds may say, there is something more compelling than money, which causes a person to act responsibly and with dignity; and that is the deep and abiding ties he has with his family and network of supporters, and the principles from which he lives his life. Jawara McIntosh’s life, history, acts and public record reflect just such a responsible and well regarded human being.
Therefore, in lieu of a financial guarantee of his return, we propose the following parameters for Jawara’s release on his own recognizance, pending trial, which we are calling a Family Bond:


Case Number:___________________
IT IS ORDERED that the release of the defendant is subject to the following conditions:
(1) The defendant shall remain in constant, daily contact with his family when working or touring.
(2) The family will ensure his compliance by immediately alerting the court of any failure to report.
(3) The defendant shall immediately advise the court, defense counsel and prosecution in writing before any change in address and telephone number.
(4) The defendant shall not commit any offense in violation of state or local law while on release in the case.
(5) The defendant shall appear at all proceedings as required and shall surrender for service of any sentence imposed as directed.
The defendant shall next appear at (if blank, to be notified):
[Name of Courthouse, address]

Courtroom No. ____, __________________ Floor, at________ on

__________________ , 201__.
Before ____________________________________________________________

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the defendant be released provided that:
(6) The defendant promises to appear at all proceedings as required and to surrender for service of any sentence


As the terms of a Family Bond require the full participation of the family, it is FURTHER ORDERED that the subject be placed under the custody of:

(Name of family member)


(City and State) (Telephone)

(7) The defendant shall:
a) Truthfully report to the court as directed, and comply with their directions.
b) Maintain or actively seek employment.
c) Report as soon as possible to the supervising officer any contact with law enforcement personnel, including, but not limited to, and arrest, questioning, or traffic stop.
d) Refrain from the use of alcohol.



A violation of any of the foregoing conditions of release may result in the immediate issuance of a warrant for your arrest, a revocation of release, an order o f detention, and a prosecution for contempt of court and could result in a term of imprisonment, a fine, or both.

I acknowledge that I am the defendant in this case and that I am aware of the conditions of release. I promise to obey all conditions of release, to appear as directed, and to surrender for service of any sentence of any sentence imposed. I am aware of the penalties and sanctions set forth above.

Signature of Defendant


City and State Telephone

Download Here:

Family Bond-Release Conditions



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