Sunday, February 15, 2009

Jailing kids for money

Then again...

First two judges shut down the country-run juvenile detention center and help privatizers secure rich contracts worth tens of millions of dollars, at least some of that dependent on how many juveniles were locked up. Then Judges Conahan and Ciavarella pocket $2.6 million in kick-backs for sentencing kids to prison terms for minor infractions.

Conahan’s cover was blown when, in a most bizarre case, he sentenced a Wilkes-Barre high school student Hillary Transue to three months in prison for the unspeakable crime of publishing a piece of satire on a MySpace page that “mocked” an assistant principal.

Now everyone is wondering why juveniles like Hillary don’t have the right to legal counsel when they are charged.

Last year, the Juvenile Law Center, which had raised concerns about Judge Ciavarella in the past, filed a motion to the State Supreme Court about more than 500 juveniles who had appeared before the judge without representation. (NYT)

But I also wonder why the high school (name of the school is never mentioned in any of the national press coverage) would have one of its students arrested on such an outrageous charge in the first place?

1 comment:

  1. I am really scared. Not about the fact that kids were being jailed for money, but because I was not shocked, surprised, a even a little pissed off by this story. I have become somewhat disillusioned with both the public education system (on its way to being privatized by the wealthy) and the un-Justice system. I am going to do a little more reading on this to see if my suspiciion is true: Most of the kidss were either African America, Latino, or low-income. Ironically, those are the same kids NOT being served in the public education system.

    I don't think change will come fast enough for some.


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