Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Amy Goodman: Jailing Kids for Cash

(This has got to be one of the singularly most disgusting stories I have ever read in my life. Good on Amy for bringing this to light.)
As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited. The two judges pleaded guilty in a stunning case of greed and corruption that is still unfolding. Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan received $2.6 million in kickbacks while imprisoning children who often had no access to a lawyer. The case offers an extraordinary glimpse into the shameful private prison industry that is flourishing in the United States.

Take the story of Jamie Quinn. When she was 14 years old, she was imprisoned for almost a year. Jamie, now 18, described the incident that led to her incarceration...

Click on the title to read the rest of the story. What assholes will do for money never ceases to shock, anger and amaze me. What Goodman didn't mention is that both Ciavarella and Conahan are deeply suspected to be tied to a Pennsylvania mob boss named William D’Elia. So not only are they greedy and corrupt, sending little girls to prison for making web sites parodying their vice principals and getting involved in unwitnessed slap fights (virtually destroying their families and the health of the kids in the process), these two douchebags were also fixing cases for a mob boss who also had them in his pocket.

I hope the families take these two cocksuckers to the fucking cleaners in the civil suit phase. I hate judges on general principle alone but when I read of them blatantly abusing their power and positions at the expense of children and families, I hate 'em even twice as much.


At February 24, 2009 at 9:02 PM, Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

this has been a valid and deep concern of civil libertarians ever since the republican wave of privatization of prisons. a for profit prison has zero interest in letting anyone go.

an axiom of prison planning is "build a bed, fill a bed."

private prisons in california have been the subject of many lawsuits. the seventh day adventists run a few of them and the prisoners sued because of the forced vegetarian diet.

it's a violation of the bill of rights for jailers to have a monetary interest in keeping people locked up.

At February 24, 2009 at 11:15 PM, Blogger William N. Grigg said...

I hate judges on general principle alone but when I read of them blatantly abusing their power and positions at the expense of children and families, I hate 'em even twice as much.

Elegantly and passionately said, and I emphatically concur with every outraged syllable.

At February 24, 2009 at 11:25 PM, Blogger Bukko Boomeranger said...

Thom Hartmann, one of the liberal talk show hosts on Air America Radio, has touched upon this topic a few times. But I had no idea the judges -- good Republicans, they were! -- had ties to the Mob. Thanks for enlightening me to yet another disgusting aspect of this story, JP.

At February 25, 2009 at 12:49 AM, Blogger daveawayfromhome said...

The whole rationalization of the privatization movement is that private businesses can save money versus a gov't run enterprise. What they dont mention is who the private companies save the money for: themselves. If anyone has any evidence of privatization saving the government any money, I've yet to hear of it. I have heard plenty of reports of privatization costing the gov't more, while providing service that is, at best, no better than that previously provided by the gov't agency that was replaced. In fact, the only place that ever seems to show any "savings" is in the area of the wages paid to the poor schmucks who do the actual work.

Privatization is a hidden facet of Trickle-down Theory, disguised under the idea that what's-good-for-business-is-good-for-America. In reality, what's good for business is good for Business, and it only becomes good for America if Business feels like sharing, which, like the Rich, it rarely does.

At February 25, 2009 at 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to sound like a broken l.p.....I'm convinced kickbacks are the premise for privatization...Having said that,these two should be spending the remainder of their lives behind bars (incarcerated with the general population at a hell hole facility) and their estates should be forced to pay back all the monies received from the corporate entity with interest. The company in question should lose their charter and its execs jailed for a lengthy term.

At February 26, 2009 at 12:01 AM, Blogger nunya said...


At February 27, 2009 at 12:01 AM, Blogger Stan B. said...

Just caught a tag that went something like... the doors of the factory closed the same day the doors of the school closed on the same day the doors of the new jail opened.


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