Judge Takes Money to Jail Children

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Judge Michael Conahan
Judge Michael Conahan

Two Luzerne County, Pennsylvania judges admitted to taking money from juvie centers to hand out longer sentences to youth.  Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan collected payoffs from PA Childcare and Western PA Childcare for at least three years.  The companies that run juvenile detention centers allegedly receive state funds.  So the more juvies incarcerated, the more funding in their pockets.  The longer the juvie stays, the fatter the pocket.  Ciarvarella and Conahan was in the business of handing out three month sentences for juvenile crimes that only deserved two weeks.  For three "effing" years.  And there's no telling how many others judges in Pennsylvania were practicing the same unethical and cruel business schemes.  In fact, every state should create an agency to investigate possible criminal activity among fair and impartial judges and juvenile detention centers.  I know incarcerating men is a big business in this country.  And I know the law enforcement often profits from policing lower socio-economic boys who, in my opinion, are often victimized by weakening public education, but come on, to hear some Pennsylvania judge is falsely incarcerating teens as a side-job so he and the juvie center can pocket extra cash and take vacations to Hilton Head, is sickening.  Both entities should be bulldozed!

Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.

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