Back in February, former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was convicted of racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud and tax evasion in what was arguably the most grotesque misuse of power the state of Pennsylvania has ever seen. Dubbed “Kids for Cash,” Judge Ciavarella Jr. apparently struck a back room deal with private prisons owners and schemed to doll out inordinately long prison sentences to juveniles in exchange for cash money.
According to a Federal Indictment, Ciavarella Jr and another judge accepted $2.8 million from private juvenile facilities–they even borded up the county’s former detention facility to eliminate competition for their conspirators. Around 4,000 convictions presided over by Ciavarella Jr. have since been overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, though it’s been estimated that around 5,000 minors were wrongly sentenced to prison and, in some cases, deprived of basic constitutional rights.
As part of his conviction, Ciavarella has been ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution, in addition to serving 28 years in prison. Hope you enjoy every second on it, Mark.
Source: Intellihub | Photo: AP