Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jailing kids for profit

A Pennsylvania judge found an interesting way to supplement his income. He got a kickback every time he sent a kid to juvenile detention.

It was good business for the judge, and good business for the private, for-profit juvenile jails. The more kids they had, the more money they made.

Everybody in this scheme came out ahead--except the kids.

The New York Times relates the tale of 17-year-old Hillary Transue, a "stellar" student who spoofed the assistant principal at her Wilkes-Barre high school with a MySpace page. She even said, on the page, that it was a joke.

Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. gave her three months in juvenile detention. “I felt like I had been thrown into some surreal sort of nightmare,” she told the Times.

Ciavarella sentenced 5,000 kids to jail since the scheme began in 2003. Many were first-time offenders, and some are still in detention. He and a colleague admitted to $2.6 million for jailing the kids, according to the Times.

The State Supreme Court is trying to figure out what to do with them.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Paul,

    This is Jeff, trombone guy with Paul Miller band of years ago. Was Gigging with Dan Mont.. last night and we were reminiscing about the good times we had. Let's reconnect. Visit my website and leave a message as to how I can reach you.

    Bests, JB