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The $2 Billion Bail Industry Is Facing an Existential Crisis

Directly across Tulane Avenue from the criminal district courthouse in New Orleans, two bail bond offices sit side by side, hinting at how costly a trip to jail can be in a city where 85 percent of people who enter the criminal legal system are too poor to afford a lawyer. In New Orleans, bail agents take up to a 13 percent cut (plus fees) of whatever it costs to win a prisoner’s freedom from the city’s infamous jail lurking just blocks away, leaving low-income families scrambling for extra cash before loved ones miss a day of work and lose their jobs.  Read more.

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