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While the world has made encouraging strides in the fight against global poverty, there is a hidden crisis silently undermining our best efforts to help the poor. It is a plague of everyday violence. Beneath the surface of the world's poorest communities, common violence, like rape, forced labor, illegal detention, land theft, police abuse and other brutality, has become routine and relentless. And like a horde of locusts devouring everything in their path, the unchecked plague of violence ruins lives, blocks the road out of poverty, and undercuts development. How has this plague of violence grown so ferocious? The answer is terrifying, and startingly simple: There is nothing shielding the poor from violent people. In one of the most remarkable, and unremarked upon, social disasters of the last half century, basic public justice systems in the developing world have descended into a state of utter collapse. Here the authors offer a searing account of how we got here, and what it will take to end the plague.