This weekend a new documentary called Kids For Cash, The Movie opens nationwide. It contains some very startling revelations about justice, children and dirty judges who sold them for profit. For many of us, this shocking story will seem surreal. Imagine you're a parent and your child is accused of a prank or joke. Not a real crime. Here's what happened in Pennsylvania, according to the NY Times:
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Things were different in the Luzerne County juvenile courtroom, and everyone knew it. Proceedings on average took less than two minutes. Detention center workers were told in advance how many juveniles to expect at the end of each day — even before hearings to determine their innocence or guilt. Lawyers told families not to bother hiring them. They would not be allowed to speak anyway.
Why and how would a judge be allowed this shadow justice -- this attack against innocent kids or ones whose crime in any other jurisdiction would result in probation or a scolding? Money!
In what authorities are calling the biggest legal scandal in state history, the two judges [ Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Judge Michael T. Conahan] pleaded guilty to tax evasion and wire fraud in a scheme that involved sending thousands of juveniles to two private detention centers in exchange for $2.6 million in kickbacks.
The root of this evil, of course are the perpetrators, the two judges. But what's behind this all is the justice system, one that rewards the incarceration of men, women and children. These REWARDS are paid by... private detention centers. That's right. The private profit-making jails. These corporate-run cesspools are allowed to exist under lighter and less supervised oversight than state-run facilities. Hellholes fraught with unbridled horrors and torture. These Gitmo-like facilities make their highest profits when they run at full capacity. And how best to keep the occupancy rate high? Offer kickbacks to judges who will turn their backs on justice. In essence, this is legalized slavery and the slave sellers are men and women in black robes.
Rev. Al Sharpton had a woman and her daughter on his show who together helped break this scheme wide open. Here's a piece from that interview on Politics Nation that will open your eyes and perhaps even turn your stomach.