- 85,00 kr
The shocking true story of corrupt judges who made millions by sending children to a private juvenile detention facility: “A harrowing tale, lucidly told” (The New York Times Book Review).
In this sensational work of true crime that reads like a thriller, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter William Ecenbarger exposes a long-running scandal that ruined thousands of young lives. In Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan were doing big business in juvenile court. From 2003 to 2008, they received millions of dollars in kickbacks from a private detention facility that needed a steady stream of inmates. Many of the children caught in this scheme were first-time offenders. Many received only cursory hearings without legal counsel. Some were as young as eleven years old.
When it was first released, Kids for Cash brought the story to national attention, where it has stayed ever since. As the Philadelphia Inquirer pointed out, this is the “worst stain on Pennsylvania, a state with more than its share of stains . . . Bill Ecenbarger offers a detail-packed, sickening account of the scandal and its impact. Anyone caring about courts, justice or children should read it.”
“Heartbreakingly shows justice gone bad.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Shocking.” —Library Journal
Pulitzer-winning journalist Ecenbarger spares no detail in recounting how two rural Pennsylvania judges' schemed to incarcerate thousands of kids in a privately owned juvenile detention center in exchange for millions in kickbacks. In famously corrupt Luzerne County, juvenile court judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan lobbied for the building of a new juvenile detention center. From 2003 to 2008, Ciavarella then funneled thousands of kids including nonviolent and first-time offenders into the new center. In return both he and Conahan were receiving millions of carefully laundered dollars. More troubling was the system's abuse of the children (some as young as 11). Local newspaper reports led to state and federal investigations, and the judges were convicted of racketeering. Ecenbarger lays out the details of the case, emphasizing the very human element of the children who were the victims.