Tag Archives: kids for cash

Private prison profits buying more laws to lock people up

Another report about money and private prisons (in addition to the ACLU’s Banking on Bondage), this one Public Campaign and PICO National Network, Unholy Alliance: How the Private Prison Industry is Corrupting Our Democracy and Promoting Mass Incarceration. It establishes that the “kids for cash” scandal, in which two judges accepted kickbacks in exchange for locking up juveniles, was just the tip of the iceberg.
Yet the reality is that private prison lobbyists regularly buy influence with state and federal officials, not only to win lucrative contracts, but also to change or preserve policies that increase the number of people behind bars. Private companies have made huge profits off the mass incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, and are now turning their attention to increasing the detention of Latino immigrants—the newest profit center for the prison industrial complex. Ultimately there is no way to reverse the costly trend toward mass incarceration without reducing the influence of these companies and their money in our democracy.
Here’s another example David Donnelly wrote for Huffpo 17 Nov 2011, Private Prisons Industry: Increasing Incarcerations, Maximizing Profits and Corrupting Our Democracy,
Earlier this year in Louisiana, a plan by Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) to privatize prisons narrowly failed in a legislative committee by a vote of 13 to 12. The 12 members of the House Appropriations Committee who voted to approve the prison privatization plan have received more than three times more money from private prison donors than the 13 members who voted against the plan, according to an analysis of data from the Louisiana Ethics Administration and the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Gov. Jindal himself has taken nearly $30,000 from the private prison industry.
And of course in Georgia there’s HB 87, which isn’t really about excluding immigrants; Continue reading

Judge privatizes justice, eventually gets caught

Reported even in the VDT, 12 August 2011, AP, Pa. judge gets 28 years in ‘kids for cash’ case
A northeastern Pennsylvania judge was ordered Thursday to spend nearly three decades in prison for his role in a massive bribery scandal that prompted the state’s high court to toss thousands of juvenile convictions and left lasting scars on the children who appeared in his courtroom and their hapless families.

Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison for taking a $1 million bribe from the builder of a pair of juvenile detention centers in a case that became known as “kids for cash.”

Now that’s privatization of justice! Looks a lot like no justice at all. Makes you wonder how many other people are in prison who shouldn’t be.

We don’t need a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia. Spend that tax money on rehabilitation and education.


PS: Had to go to the Guardian for the picture, though.