Short diary here to call out attention to an article I tripped over. This is privatization in action and I think this should be thrown into any GOP or DEMs face who help facilitate a transfer of govt function to private industry.
For years, the juvenile court system in Wilkes-Barre operated like a conveyor belt: Youngsters were brought before judges without a lawyer, given hearings that lasted only a minute or two, and then sent off to juvenile prison for months for minor offenses.
In one of the most shocking cases of courtroom graft on record, two Pennsylvania judges have been charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers.
We have seen what the effects of war for profit have been. We are getting ready to hang out 100s of billions of dollars from the recovery package out there where govt bureaucrats are salivating along with their private industry contacts to get as much of it as they can. This is where 20 Million here and 100 million there seems almost trivial unless your company is on the receiving end. This is what has been going on in the military and what has spread to almost all areas in accelerated fashion over the last 8 years
Imagine the Military Industrial complex , except with a lot shorter build up time. With people rushing to deploy money it's almost inevitable that misdirection will occur. If something as nasty as this was allowed to continue for years where the judges actually helped the contractor secure the contracts and then helped them make money by supplying them kids. You have to ask yourself, what's coming? I think we should be very careful in rushing this money out there. Yes the need is acute, but if there is only one dip at the well, while people are siphoning off 100s of millions for personal gain, the suffering will be even more intense.
"Hey hungry person. Want some food? A Job? You ain't getting it. Yeah that's right , the money is right here and I'm taking my family to Europe for a vacation and then I'm gonna bitch about taxes."
Lets have some real hard questions on who is handling this money.
Otherwise this is what we are going to see in a 100 different variations.
Prosecutors say Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan took $2.6 million in payoffs to put juvenile offenders in lockups run by PA Child Care LLC and a sister company, Western PA Child Care LLC. The judges were charged on Jan. 26 and removed from the bench by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court shortly afterward.
This is trickle down at it's very worst.
Many Pennsylvania counties contract with privately run juvenile detention centers, paying them either a fixed overall fee or a certain amount per youth, per day.
Read the entire article. Fuck privatization.
Update: Thanks for putting this up on the rec list. I had to take a break when I saw the sentence these judges received. Seven years for ruining hundreds to thousands of kids lives and ignoring their basic right to be represented by council. Too much!.
I wonder if anyone has found out if they had to disgorge the bribes they took in?
Update 11: Here is some video of still pictures of these judges and their victims.