Here is a reposting of an article from Care2.com about the judge who unjustly sent roughly 4000 children to private detention centers in return for taking a $1 million bribe from the builder of two private juvenile detention facilities.
a massive bribery scandal that Mark Ciavarella, Jr. and another judge, Michael Conrahan, devised. According to prosecutors, Conrahan first secured contracts from the state to house juvenile offenders in the private facilities; Ciavarella then presided over the juvenile courts and filled the centers with some 4000 youths, some as young as 10 years old and many first-time offenders, between 2003 and 2008. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned about 4,000 of the convictions issued by Ciavarella, saying he violated the constitutional rights of the youths, including their right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea.
The “kids for cash” case also highlights the issues surrounding the privatization of detention facilities for juveniles, inmates and immigrants. As states including California place inmates in private facilities — and private-prison companies reap the rewards – how can we make sure that their rights are protected? You can’t. Money corrupts this type of system.
In Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer has invested in several private prisons. Now her insistence on passing the state’s anti-immigration law, SB 1070, reveals to me that her plan all along was to fill up these new private prisons of hers with illegal immigrants and then conveniently lose them in the system. Brewer and her investors would have a steady revenue stream if SB 1070 holds up in court.
Think about it, if you had a private prison you would be doing this very thing. If you don’t get a steady stream of convicts you are out of business. This encourages you to be unscrupulous. Where’s the incentive to do the right thing? Let me know when you’ve figured that out.
This is why private prisons ARE and WILL ALWAYS BE a BAD IDEA!
Meanwhile, Mark Ciavarella, Jr. should have gotten the same sentences all 4000 of the kids got. He should serve these sentences consecutively of course, which would come out to a few hundred years.