Judges Plead Guilty in Juvenile Detention Pay-Off Scheme
Even Charles Dickens would never have come up with this one:
[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.
Among the victims: A 17 year old who spoofed her principal on My Space got 3 months in juvenile detention. Total number of victims since the pair began the scheme in 2003: 5,000 juveniles. [More...]
The judges won't be getting a slap on the wrist: their plea agreements call for 87 months. They also lose their pensions.
As for broader implications:
[The case] raised concerns about whether juveniles should be required to have counsel either before or during their appearances in court and whether juvenile courts should be open to the public or child advocates.
|< The Surge "Worked" | The Progressive Flank: Does It Exist? >|