The probation industry is booming in Georgia. Private companies supervise people sentenced to probation for misdemeanors or violating city ordinances. In exchange for collecting court fines, the probation companies are allowed to extract monthly “supervision fees” from probationers. Nearly 600 courts have adopted this “offender-funded” model, which saves courts from having to hire their own probation officers. In 2016, probation providers collected at least $87 million in fines for local governments and pocketed an estimated $34 million in supervision . . .
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