'This Is Modern-Day Slavery': How the Bail Industry Targets Women of Color

She stayed in a Las Vegas jail for roughly a year on charges of robbery because she could not afford to post bail and fight her case from home. Eventually, Cheryl Diston was found not guilty.

“This is modern-day slavery,” said Diston. “Why should we have to pay for our freedom?”


Her experience is not uncommon: More than half the U.S. jail population has never been convicted of a crime and many of them languish in jail because they can’t afford high bail costs. Yet when inmates are able to post bail, the burden of paying bail and court fees typically falls on family members and 83 percent of which are women.

Watch the video above to see how the money bail system disproportionally affects black and brown women.

Yasmin Nouh is a news video producer.



There are many inequities built into the very foundations of our society and our laws, starting with the Constitution itself. From the Thirteenth Amendment:

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist....” (emphasis mine)

That is to say, slavery and involuntary servitude are not, in fact, totally prohibited.

Then there is the whole topic of bail, bail bondsmen, and repo men. Ugh.