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Cash Bail: Money Shouldn't Define Freedom

Across America, thousands of demonstrators--white and black alike--have been arrested for protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. Many of them will experience the country's cash bail system for the first time. It's known as the front door of the nation's criminal justice system, and can ultimately determine how an arrest or accusation could impact a person's life. Those who can afford to pay bail are able to go home and await their court date. But those who cannot may fall into bail-bond debt traps or be forced to sit in jail until their cases are resolved, perhaps losing their jobs or even custody of their children in the process. The cash bail system disproportionately impacts black people in the U.S. And that, says bail-reform advocate Insha Rahman, is very much by design.

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