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Author Topic: (ノヮ)ノ*:・゚✧ Kids for Cash!!! (the nightmarish 2008 scandal)  (Read 1623 times)

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Mothra

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So, I just learned about this, earlier today:

Quote
The "kids for cash" scandal unfolded in 2008 over judicial kickbacks at the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Two judges, President Judge Mark Ciavarella and Senior Judge Michael Conahan, were accused of accepting money from Robert Mericle, builder of two private, for-profit juvenile facilities, in return for contracting with the facilities and imposing harsh sentences on juveniles brought before their courts to increase the number of inmates in the detention centers.

For example, Ciavarella sentenced children to extended stays in juvenile detention for offenses as minimal as mocking a principal on Myspace, trespassing in a vacant building, and shoplifting DVDs from Wal-mart. Ciavarella and Conahan pleaded guilty on February 13, 2009, pursuant to a plea agreement, to federal charges of honest services fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States (failing to report income to the Internal Revenue Service, known as tax evasion) in connection with receiving $2.6 million in payments from managers at PA Child Care in Pittston Township and its sister company Western PA Child Care in Butler County. The plea agreement was later voided by a federal judge, who was dissatisfied with the post-plea conduct of the defendants, and the two judges charged subsequently withdrew their guilty pleas, raising the possibility of a criminal trial.
Dear sweet lord.
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Zaratustra

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Re: (ノヮ)ノ*:・゚✧ Kids for Cash!!! (the nightmarish 2008 scandal)
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2013, 10:20:06 AM »

No matter what laws are there, someone will figure out how to abuse them to make money.

Classic

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Re: (ノヮ)ノ*:・゚✧ Kids for Cash!!! (the nightmarish 2008 scandal)
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2013, 11:10:05 AM »

Making public services profit motivated seems like a great way to create conflicts of interest though.
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Thad

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Re: (ノヮ)ノ*:・゚✧ Kids for Cash!!! (the nightmarish 2008 scandal)
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2013, 11:50:04 AM »

There are a lot of industries I hate.  A lot I see as hopelessly, incurably corrupt, as industries whose very function is to profit from human suffering.

Health insurance.  Investment banking.  Oil and coal.  Weapons.  Newscorp.

But the private prison industry is the very worst.

The very proposition of creating a profit incentive for putting people in prison and keeping them there is one that should result in only two reactions: laughter that the notion is farcical; disgust at the realization that people are serious about it.

Have I mentioned the private prison lobby's role in crafting SB1070 lately?  Because here, let me just link this again:

Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law, by Laura Sullivan, NPR, 2010.
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A

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Re: (ノヮ)ノ*:・゚✧ Kids for Cash!!! (the nightmarish 2008 scandal)
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2013, 12:20:23 PM »

Hey look it's almost what happened to me when I was a kid except these kids weren't so lucky.
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Mothra

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Re: (ノヮ)ノ*:・゚✧ Kids for Cash!!! (the nightmarish 2008 scandal)
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 12:35:01 PM »

There are a lot of industries I hate.  A lot I see as hopelessly, incurably corrupt, as industries whose very function is to profit from human suffering.

Health insurance.  Investment banking.  Oil and coal.  Weapons.  Newscorp.

But the private prison industry is the very worst.

The very proposition of creating a profit incentive for putting people in prison and keeping them there is one that should result in only two reactions: laughter that the notion is farcical; disgust at the realization that people are serious about it.

Have I mentioned the private prison lobby's role in crafting SB1070 lately?  Because here, let me just link this again:

Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law, by Laura Sullivan, NPR, 2010.
That is a Thad mic drop, right there. Amen.

According to this 2011 wrap-up of the convictions, Mark Ciavarella Jr. was sentenced to 28 years in jail. That seems really lenient, considering what the fuck he did.

As for the others, it varies:
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Judge Michael T. Conahan is currently serving a 17- year sentence at the Federal Correctional Complex, Coleman in Sumter County Florida. Robert J. Powell, co-owner of the two juvenile detention centers, pleaded guilty to paying kickbacks to Ciavarella and Conahan and served 18 months in prison before being released on April 16, 2013. Robert K. Mericle, the wealthy builder and co-owner of two private detention centers, has not yet been sentenced, but in November 2012, he agreed to a cash settlement that would distribute $12.2 million to 1,066 of the juveniles who were incarcerated and 548 of their parents.
There is also a number given:
Quote
Once the case against Ciavarella surfaced, special investigative panels began reviewing cases he handled from 2003 to 2008. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court concluded that he denied about 5,000 juveniles, some as young as ten, their constitutional rights, leading to the vacating of their convictions.
Five thousand kids. Hooo boy.
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Mongrel

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Re: (ノヮ)ノ*:・゚✧ Kids for Cash!!! (the nightmarish 2008 scandal)
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 01:50:51 PM »

I HEAH THEY DON' LIKE JUDGES IN JAY-UHL

:schadenfreude:

Really though, I'd be terrified to hear the aggregate number of years of bullshit jail those kids were collectively subject to.
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Mongrel

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Re: (ノヮ)ノ*:・゚✧ Kids for Cash!!! (the nightmarish 2008 scandal)
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2013, 01:56:25 PM »

EDIT BY WAY OF POST:

It's also interesting to look at which states, if any, do not have private prisons. I can't seem to find any data though, other than the fact that Illinois and New York have banned them?
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