Penn judges plead guilty-profited $2.6 million jailing kids
Scranton federal court accepts guilty pleas of 2 judges for profiting $2.6 million by New York criminal lawyers
New York, NY (JusticeNewsFlash.com)–As reported by Reuters on Friday, two judges from the Court of Common Pleas in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania pled guilty of Thursday in federal criminal court in Scranton.
Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan along side their criminal attorneys pled guilty in federal court for accepting $2.6 million if payoffs from a private youth detention center.
According to court documents, teenagers who presented, in the juvenile court in front of the judges, received excessively harsh and long sentences placing them in private youth detention centers. Lawyers for the Juvenile Law center, a non-profit group in Philadelphia claim, whenever a teen offender is placed in a private juvenile detention facility, the company running the detention center receives more money from the government. PA Childcare and Western PA Childcare are the two companies who paid the judges $2.6 million in bribery money to increase their census to receive more money from the government. The private detention center companies were essentially bribing the two juvenile judges to increase their profits at the expense of kids’ freedom.
Reports from chief counsel for the Juvenile Law Center indicate between 2003 to 2006 approximately 5,000 juveniles stood before Judge Ciavarella and close to 2,000 were sentenced excessively with harsh detention sentences to a private youth facility. Unfortunately, most of these misdemeanor youth offenders stood before the judges without the legal representation of an attorney because the probation service told them their minor offenses didn’t require legal counsel.
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