Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, August 18, 2022

Two judges who sent children to for-profit jails and received illegal payments for doing so have been ordered to pay more than $200 million in damages, a judge ruled Tuesday.



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More from the article...

...Catch up quick: The two judges decided to shut down a county-run juvenile detention center and instead send multiple children to for-profit lockup centers PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care from 2003 to 2008, the Associated Press reports....

Background: Many of the children sent to the lockups were convicted of minor crimes with some being as young as 8, the Associated Press reports.

- - - Some children were sent into detention without the chance to say goodbye to their families.

#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-08-17 03:20 PM | Reply

The FBI press release from 2011...

Former Pennsylvania County President Judge Michael Conahan Sentenced (September 23, 2011)

...Peter J. Smith, United States Attorney for Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Michael Conahan, former president judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Luzerne County, was sentenced in federal court in Scranton today to a term of 17-and-a-half years of imprisonment by Senior United States District Court Judge Edwin M. Kosik II.

Senior Judge Kosik also ordered restitution be paid in the amount of $874,167.37 to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for his judicial salary and a fine of $20,100.00. Conahan previously forfeited his right to his state pension.

At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, Conahan voluntarily surrendered and was taken into custody by the United States Marshals Service.

The judicial scandal, described as the worst in Pennsylvania's history, and the federal prosecutions, have had major consequences: Ciavarella and Conahan resigned from the bench in 2009. Reform efforts are underway in the Luzerne County court system. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania was compelled to vacate thousands of juvenile convictions in Luzerne County as a result of Ciavarella's conduct as a Juvenile Court Judge. A State Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice was established to study what happened and to recommend changes in the state's justice system aimed at safeguarding the constitutional rights of juveniles and improving the oversight and disciplinary process for judges in Pennsylvania. In June 2011, a committee of the American Bar Association reviewed and made recommendations to improve procedures in the state's Judicial Conduct Board. A procedure was established in Luzerne County for compensation of victims of the activities of Ciavarella and Conahan.

Conahan and his co-defendant, Mark Ciavarella, who also served as president judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, were initially charged in January 2009. The charges were the result of a federal investigation of alleged corruption in the Luzerne County court system. The inquiry began in 2007 and over the next four years expanded to include county government offices, state legislators, school districts and contractors in Northeastern Pennsylvania....

fwiw, both judges appear to been members of the Democratic Party. If they were elected Judges, I wonder if their election success was funded in part by contributions from the for-profit prisons that their rulings seemed to have benefited?

#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-08-17 03:24 PM | Reply

"the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." - mlk

#3 | Posted by ichiro at 2022-08-17 05:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

This will be "felt" by a generation.

#4 | Posted by fresno500 at 2022-08-17 08:54 PM | Reply

Is anyone surprised to find out they're Republicans?


#5 | Posted by ClownShack at 2022-08-17 09:00 PM | Reply

both judges appear to been members of the Democratic Party.

Mark Ciavarella

#6 | Posted by ClownShack at 2022-08-17 09:02 PM | Reply

" both judges appear to been members of the Democratic Party."

In that case, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Which, coincidentally, would be the same thing I'd say if there was an "R" after the name.

#7 | Posted by Danforth at 2022-08-17 09:27 PM | Reply

Mark Arthur Ciavarella Jr. is no longer the member of any party

He is Federal inmate #15008-067 Federal Correctional Institution, Ashland, Kentucky.

As far as I know Felons in federal prisons cannot vote.

#8 | Posted by donnerboy at 2022-08-18 01:15 PM | Reply

Hah! That, made my day...

#9 | Posted by earthmuse at 2022-08-18 02:25 PM | Reply

Deapicable but totally exprcted resut of the private prison industry. When imprisonment is profitable more people will be imprisoned and for longer periods of time.

#10 | Posted by danni at 2022-08-19 08:50 AM | Reply

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