Judges Accused of Jailing Kids for Cash

March 27, 2009

So get this, these two judges, according to the allegations in the article, sent children to jail for 2 years for driving mom’s car and hitting something, jail for stealing a $4 bottle of nutmeg, etc. Just so they could get kick backs from the for-profit prison their cronies ran. They should get one year for each year of children’s lives they damaged. Vampires.

Judges Accused of Jailing Kids for Cash – ABC News

Ciavarella and Conahan, who face up to 7 years in prison, had devised a plot to use their positions as judges to pad their pockets. They shut down the old county-run juvenile detention center by first refusing to send kids there and, then, by cutting off funds, choking it out of existence. They then replaced the facility with a cash cow — a privately owned lockup built by the judges’ cronies — and forged a deal for the county to pay $58 million for a 10-year period for its use. At the time Conahan was serving as president judge of the Luzerne County Common Pleas Court, a position that allowed him to control the county-court budget. Ciavarella was the Luzerne County juvenile court judge.

The judges entered plea agreements in federal court in Scranton in February admitting that they took more than $2.6 million in payoffs from the private youth detention center between 2003 and 2006.

Prosecutors said the judges attempted to hide their income from the scheme by creating false records and routing payments through intermediaries. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court removed them from their duties after federal prosecutors filed charges Jan. 26. The investigation is ongoing.

“The defendants engaged in fraud by taking millions of dollars in connection with the construction, operation and expansion of juvenile detention facilities here in Luzerne County,” U.S. Attorney Martin Carlson said.

And, according to state statistics, Ciavarella’s incarceration rates of juveniles jumped after the privately owned juvenile detention center opened.

“The information alleges that the judges ordered juveniles into these detention facilities, the facilities in which they had a financial interest, and on occasion that those orders were done despite the recommendation of juvenile probation officers that the child not be detained, not be imprisoned,” Carlson said.

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