What is Jail Support and Why Do you Need it?


Listening to Dan at TRC, brought up some things for me last night. When I have provided medic support in other areas, I am repeatedly asked if I have my jail support form filled out and stashed with the right person? So it’s always a bit of culture shock to come back home where a lot of the orgs don't seem to be into it.

Jail support is NOT bond support. We have the very excellent Prairielands Freedom Fund to help protestors with that. Jail support is making sure that people who do get arrested get the help they need afterwards.

“Jail support is the cleanup after a march or action. It is a crucial part of taking care of ourselves and standing up to state harassment of activists through the use of an increasingly militarized police force and judicial system.” You can read more about jail support in this article.

The first step to providing jail support is figuring out what people need if they get arrested? Iowa City Mutual Aid has a jail support form that we use internally in case one of our people gets arrested at a protest. Each of us fills out one of those forms and we elect a fellow medic to hold on to them. The medic who volunteers to keep track of these forms will not be at the direct action. If you are arrested, they will “activate” the mutual aid collective to meet the needs we express on the form.

The form asks basic questions. Are there people you want informed if you get arrested? Do you have kids at home or a pet that needs let out? Do you need someone to move your car? It's basically helping you set up a plan for if you get arrested and letting us know how ICMA can help. We want to offer this to everyone going into the protest season especially as the city has taken to having people arrested for peaceful protesting or you know just making Geoff Fruin nervous.

There are some steps that you can take to make sure that you are as safe as possible during a direct action.

  1. Attend the protest education event that IFR has set up for Saturday night at City Park Shelter 7 @7pm.
  2. Write the number for Prairieland Freedom Fund on your arm with permanent ink. 319-535-2209.
  3. Fill out a jail support form and get it to one of the ICMA medics or email it to our secure email which is ichwb@protonmail.com.
  4. Attend the direct action with a buddy or let someone not at the action know that you will be there and that they can call the medics at 319-512-2422 and leave a message in case of an emergency.