Updated 2018 09 19
Justice for Judges — Kids for Cash Bribery Case. Pa. judge gets 28 years for his role in kids for cash bribery scandal. Are there more cases like that? Let’s hope not.
2011 08 11
Pa. judge gets 28 years in ‘kids for cash’ case
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A longtime northeastern Pennsylvania judge was ordered to spend nearly three decades in prison for his role in a massive juvenile justice bribery scandal that prompted the state’s high court to toss thousands of convictions.
Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was sentenced Thursday to 28 years in federal prison for taking $1 million in bribes from the builder of a pair of juvenile detention centers in a case that became known as “kids for cash.”….(Full Story)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
For the documentary, see Kids for Cash.
The “kids for cash” scandal centered on judicial kickbacks to two judges at the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. In 2008, judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella were accused of accepting money in return for imposing harsh adjudications on juveniles to increase occupancy at for-profit detention centers.
Ciavarella disposed thousands of children to extended stays in youth centers for offenses as trivial as mocking an assistant principal on Myspace or trespassing in a vacant building. After a judge rejected an initial plea agreementin 2009, a federal grand jury returned a 48-count indictment. In 2010, Conahan pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy and was sentenced to 17.5 years in federal prison. Ciavarella opted to go to trial the following year. He was convicted on 12 of 39 counts and sentenced to 28 years in federal prison.
In the wake of the scandal, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania overturned hundreds of adjudications of delinquency in Luzerne County. The Juvenile Law Center filed a class action lawsuit against the judges and numerous other parties, and the Pennsylvania state legislature created a commission to investigate juvenile justice problems in the county.
More: Kids for cash scandal