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Articles by Arun Gupta

The Financial Firm that Cornered the Market on Jails

Thousands of arrestees a year are forced into get-out-of-jail-broke cards that are loaded up with deceptive fees.

by Arun Gupta, The Nation

A year and a half ago, after a grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, protests swept the nation. Portland, Oregon, was no exception. More than 2,000 people rallied outside the Multnomah County Justice Center the day after the decision was announced. Danica Brown, 48, joined hundreds who swarmed the streets, blocking traffic and bridges. A PhD candidate at Portland State University and a seasoned activist, Brown was one of seven protesters arrested that day.

Brown recalls the experience as unpleasant: As she knelt on the ground in handcuffs, one officer took a trophy photo. She was shuttled to a local police station, for a brief interrogation, then taken back to the Justice Center, where she was charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.

Brown was released at 2:30 am on November 26, 2014, at a loss about how to get home, nine miles away. Her wallet, cell phone and keys were in her backpack at the first police station. The ...


 

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