Discussion in 'Law Forum - Prisons - Gun Ownership' started by Amnat77, Mar 21, 2011.
Judges Plead Guilty in Scheme to Jail Youths for Profit
At worst, Hillary Transue thought she might get a stern lecture when she appeared before a judge for building a spoof MySpace page mocking the assistant principal at her high school in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. She was a stellar student who had never been in trouble, and the page stated clearly at the bottom that it was just a joke
Instead, the judge sentenced her to three months at a juvenile detention center on a charge of harassment.
She was handcuffed and taken away as her stunned parents stood by.
“I felt like I had been thrown into some surreal sort of nightmare,” said Hillary, 17, who was sentenced in 2007. “All I wanted to know was how this could be fair and why the judge would do such a thing.”
The answers became a bit clearer on Thursday as the judge, Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., and a colleague, Michael T. Conahan, appeared in federal court in Scranton, Pa., to plead guilty to wire fraud and income tax fraud for taking more than $2.6 million in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers run by PA Child Care and a sister company, Western PA Child Care.
While prosecutors say that Judge Conahan, 56, secured contracts for the two centers to house juvenile offenders, Judge Ciavarella, 58, was the one who carried out the sentencing to keep the centers filled.
“In my entire career, I’ve never heard of anything remotely approaching this,” said Senior Judge Arthur E. Grim, who was appointed by the State Supreme Court this week to determine what should be done with the estimated 5,000 juveniles who have been sentenced by Judge Ciavarella since the scheme started in 2003. Many of them were first-time offenders and some remain in detention.
This was in the documentary, "Capitalism a Love Story" by Michael Moore
A Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania judged featured in Michael Moore’s 2009 documentary Capitalism: A Love Story has been found guilty of 12 of 39 criminal counts stemming from his involvement in what has become known as the “Kids For Cash” scandal. A jury found Mark Ciavarella guilty on counts of racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud, filling a false tax return as well as related conspiracy charges. The 12 person panel returned a not guilty verdict on the bribery and extortion charges that the former judge faced
the prison industrial complex.....
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