The amicus brief, joined by the sheriff of Harris County, said defendants who stay in jail because they cannot afford bail risk losing their jobs and homes for crimes such as traffic violations.
Samuel Harrell died because he was handcuffed, punched, kicked and stomped by guards, according to his widow, including by officers belonging to a group that inmates called the "Beat Up Squad."
Staff shortages at prisons due to low pay and dangerous work conditions perpetuate this cycle in Maryland and other states, officials say.
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