NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A report by a state watchdog agency says New Jersey’s bail-bond industry is rife with improper practices.

The State Commission of Investigation on Wednesday released a report that found several bail agents continue to operate despite losing their licenses because they abused the system. The report says the practice of using jailed criminal defendants to drum up business behind bars is widespread.

Investigators say a lack of oversight and enforcement has resulted in a system in which privately negotiated discount bail-bond deals undermine judicial bail orders.

Nicholas Wachinski of the trade group The American Bail Coalition says while he hasn’t yet read the full report, the industry views it as a way to engage in a meaningful conversation with regulators over how to improve industry practices.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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