This Judge Sold Children To Private Prisons For Cash, He’s Going Down For 28 Years

Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr shouted down by angry citizen

Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr shouted down by angry citizen

Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr has been sentenced to 28 years behind bars for literally selling kids to prisons for profit.

As Blue Nation Review reports:

A Pennsylvania judge has been convicted of selling children into prison for cash. The former judge, 61-year old Mark Ciavarella Jr, was sentenced to 30 years for taking money under the table from a developer and jailing thousands of adults and juveniles, some as young as ten. Ciavarella made more than a million dollars selling people into incarceration.

Around 4,000 convictions issued by Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008 were overturned by The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, due to his violations of the juveniles’ constitutional rights – including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea.

The Tallahassee O gives some background to the victims of the scheme:

Among the young people exploited by Ciavarella were 15-year-old Hillary Transue, who was sentenced to three months at a juvenile detention center for mocking an assistant principal on a MySpace page; and 13-year-old Shane Bly, who was sent to a boot camp for two weekends after being accused of trespassing in a vacant building.
Another judge, Michael T. Conahan, used his position to shut down the county-run juvenile detention center and redirect juvenile detainees to the private prisons. He pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.

So who was paying cash for these kids? Robert Mericle, builder of the PA and Western PA Child Care juvenile detention centers.

Mericle was handed a one year prison sentence and fines of $2m for his part in the scheme.