In a case I’ve mentioned before, two judges from Pennsylvania have pleaded guilty to receiving kickbacks from a private prison company in exchange for sentencing kids to juvenile facilities owned by the company.
Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan of the Court of Common Pleas in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, plead guilty in open court that they sentenced children to juvenile detention because they were paid off to do it by the PA Childcare and a sister company, Western PA Childcare corporation that ran the private facilities.
“Your statement that I have disgraced my judgeship is true. My actions have destroyed everything I worked to accomplish and I have only myself to blame.”
The two judges face up to seven years in prison under a plea agreement made with the state.
The companies in question paid the two judges more than $2.6 million dollars to send children to detention. The companies receive a stipend from the government for each inmate they house. So as more children were sentenced to the detention center, PA Childcare and Western PA Childcare received more money from the government, prosecutors said.
According to the Juvenile Law Center, a Philadelphia nonprofit group, teenagers were sentenced to detention for simple misdemeanors.
Whatever they get, it won’t be enough.