On Thursday, 12 February 2009, “judge, Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., and a colleague, Michael T. Conahan, appeared in federal court in Scranton, Pa., to plead guilty to wire fraud and income tax fraud for taking more than $2.6 million in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers run by PA Child Care and a sister company, Western PA Child Care.”
“While prosecutors say that Judge Conahan, 56, secured contracts for the two centers to house juvenile offenders, Judge Ciavarella, 58, was the one who carried out the sentencing to keep the centers filled.
“‘In my entire career, I’ve never heard of anything remotely approaching this,’ said Senior Judge Arthur E. Grim, who was appointed by the State Supreme Court this week to determine what should be done with the estimated 5,000 juveniles who have been sentenced by Judge Ciavarella since the scheme started in 2003. Many of them were first-time offenders and some remain in detention.”
These judges sold 5,000 children in five years for $2.6 million. This means that on average they sold approximately three children per day for $520 each for a net profit of $1,560 per day. These are the numbers that have been revealed so far.
Sources Tie Admitted Felons to Pa. Court Scandal (
Judge Guilty in Kickbacks Is Accused of Fixing Suit (New York Times)
Amy Goodman: Jailing children for cash (By: Amy Goodman)