Pennsylvania Judges Charged $200M For Participating In Kids-For-Cash Jail Scheme

Two Pennsylvania judges ordered to pay $200m to kids-for-cash scandal victims – The Guardian US

Former Pennsylvania judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan were ordered to pay more than $200 million to hundreds of people they victimized in a long-running civil suit.

In the kids-for-cash scandal, a judge shut down a county-run juvenile detention center and accepted $2.8 million in illegal payments from the builder and co-owner of two for-profit lockups. The judge pushed a zero-tolerance policy that guaranteed large numbers of kids would be sent to PA Child Care.

Ciavarella and Conahan ordered children as young as 8 to detention, often without giving them a chance to say goodbye to their families. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out some 4,000 juvenile convictions after the scheme was uncovered.

The now-adult victims of the disgraced judges will likely see only a fraction of the eye-popping amount, but a lawyer for the plaintiffs said it’s a recognition of the enormity of the crimes. Several of the childhood victims have since died from overdoses or suicide.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner ruled that Ciavarella abused his power and sent 79 children to juvenile detention without due process. He decided to compensate the families for their suffering.

The judge decided that each plaintiff was entitled to $1,000 for each day of wrongful detention, and also awarded punitive damages.

To learn more about this shocking injustice, check out the news sources listed below.

  1. Two Pennsylvania judges ordered to pay $200m to kids-for-cash scandal victims  The Guardian US
  2. Kids-for-cash judges ordered to pay more than $200M  The Associated Press – en Español
  3. Judges who sent children to for-profit jails for kickbacks ordered to pay more than $200 million in damages  NBC News
  4. Judges Who Orchestrated Kids-for-Cash Jail Scheme Ordered to Pay $200M  The Daily Beast
  5. Pa. Kids-for-Cash Judges Ordered to Pay More Than $200M  NBC 10 Philadelphia
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