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“On the ground floor of Washington’s busiest courthouse, it is hard to hear the judge over chains and shackles clanking to the floor. But the message resounds: On a typical afternoon the court will release about 90 percent of the people who have been arrested and held overnight in the nation’s capital.
“They are released without leaving behind any money — on a promise to return to court and meet conditions such as checking in with a pretrial officer or reporting for drug testing.”