Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Aug '11 01:49
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/110811/kids-cash-judge-ciavarella-sentenced-pa-crime

    A former juvenile court judge in Luzerne County, Pa., who accepted nearly $1 million to send juveniles to for-profit detention centers has been sentenced to 28 years in prison. The court also ordered the former judge, Mark Ciavarella Jr., to pay $1.17 million in restitution.

    In what became known as the “kids for cash” scandal, Ciavarella and another former judge, Michael Conahan, received payments from the owner and builder of two privately-run juvenile detention facilities to close down the county’s own juvenile detention center and direct juvenile offenders to the private facilities, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

    An investigation found that thousands of juveniles were shipped to the private centers on minor or questionable charges, the Associated Press reports. Half of the children who appeared before Ciavarella were not represented by a lawyer and were never advised of their right to counsel. Of those unrepresented children, up to 60 percent were ordered by Ciavarella to serve time at a detention facility. The more children they housed, the more profit the centers made.

    In 2009, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court directed that all adjudications involving the roughly 4,000 children who appeared before Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008 be vacated and their records expunged.

    etc.


    Can you imagine??

    This guy actually sent children to prison in exchange for cash kickbacks from the prisons!

    Wow.

    Just wow.

    Thankfully, with a 28 year sentence at age 61, this guy will likely die in prison.

    For debate: Just how cynical and amoral do you have to be to do something like this systematically over the course of many years?
  2. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    12 Aug '11 02:04
    This is why privatizing the prison and juvenile detention systems is a horrible idea.
  3. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    12 Aug '11 02:08
    Originally posted by sh76
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/110811/kids-cash-judge-ciavarella-sentenced-pa-crime

    [quote]A former juvenile court judge in Luzerne County, Pa., who accepted nearly $1 million to send juveniles to for-profit detention centers has been sentenced to 28 years in prison. The court also ordered the former judge, Mark Ciavar ...[text shortened]... amoral do you have to be to do something like this systematically over the course of many years?
    Welcome to the prison-industrial complex.
  4. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Aug '11 02:22
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    This is why privatizing the prison and juvenile detention systems is a horrible idea.
    Gee, I dunno about that.

    That's kind of like saying that a murder committed for money is a reason that money is a terrible idea.
  5. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    12 Aug '11 03:33
    Originally posted by sh76
    Gee, I dunno about that.

    That's kind of like saying that a murder committed for money is a reason that money is a terrible idea.
    No, it's not like saying that at all. Money is exchanged for goods and services and so is coveted by most, but it does not have built-in conflicts of interest such as the privatization of prisons engenders.
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Aug '11 11:01
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    No, it's not like saying that at all. Money is exchanged for goods and services and so is coveted by most, but it does not have built-in conflicts of interest such as the privatization of prisons engenders.
    I really don't think it's a built-in conflict. The judge is not supposed to benefit in any way from sending people to prison. That one horrible person manipulated the system and committed terrible crimes to benefit himself doesn't mean there's an inherent conflict in the system.
  7. 12 Aug '11 11:28
    Originally posted by sh76
    I really don't think it's a built-in conflict. The judge is not supposed to benefit in any way from sending people to prison. That one horrible person manipulated the system and committed terrible crimes to benefit himself doesn't mean there's an inherent conflict in the system.
    The conflict is that the incentives of the prison is contrary to what is better for society?

    It in in the prison's best interest to keep non-violent offenders in jail for longer periods of time - but it's not in society's best interest. I'm willing to bet that these companies do lobby government and their lobbying isn't for more fair sentences, but for more severe.
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Aug '11 11:32
    Originally posted by PsychoPawn
    The conflict is that the incentives of the prison is contrary to what is better for society?

    It in in the prison's best interest to keep non-violent offenders in jail for longer periods of time - but it's not in society's best interest. I'm willing to bet that these companies do lobby government and their lobbying isn't for more fair sentences, but for more severe.
    There are always going to be people who want to see others in prison. What about the prison food suppliers or the handcuff manufacturers? That really isn't the point here. A person with power who is that willing to manipulate the system will find a way.
  9. 12 Aug '11 11:42
    Originally posted by sh76
    There are always going to be people who want to see others in prison. What about the prison food suppliers or the handcuff manufacturers? That really isn't the point here. A person with power who is that willing to manipulate the system will find a way.
    Handcuff manufacturers would only benefit from lower sentence times and a higher recidivism rate - not a higher sentence amount.

    It's about setting up the incentives - in this case if the prison was not private then this judge may have been corrupt in other ways, but this crime wouldn't have happened since there would have been no incentive.

    Of course there are always people who want to see others in prison... so what? There are always people who want to see just about anything.

    Having a private system invites a very easy way to manipulate the system and provides a direct and stronger incentive to manipulate the system.
  10. 12 Aug '11 11:56
    Originally posted by sh76
    I really don't think it's a built-in conflict. The judge is not supposed to benefit in any way from sending people to prison. That one horrible person manipulated the system and committed terrible crimes to benefit himself doesn't mean there's an inherent conflict in the system.
    If a kickback was being paid as you stated it is more than one person that manipulated the system.

    That is a conspiracy. I know you don't like that word but that is what it is. In this case it is a conspiracy fact as opposed to a theory.
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Aug '11 12:39
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    If a kickback was being paid as you stated it is more than one person that manipulated the system.

    That is a conspiracy. I know you don't like that word but that is what it is. In this case it is a conspiracy fact as opposed to a theory.
    I have no problem with the word conspiracy and certainly I agree with you that there was a conspiracy in this case. What I don't care for is allegations of massive unproven unlikely conspiracies; I have no problem with the concept of a conspiracy.
  12. Subscriber FreakyKBH
    Acquired Taste...
    12 Aug '11 15:40
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    This is why privatizing the prison and juvenile detention systems is a horrible idea.
    No. This is the first we've tried it, so it is subject to all manner of first-run bugs. The way things were--- with graft that stayed in-house, so to speak--- the assumed transparency was really nothing less than layers and layers of mind-numbing bureaucracy. We just need to make the hole smaller with the new system, not chuck it all and go back to the days of the $200 hammer.
  13. 12 Aug '11 16:13
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    This is why privatizing the prison and juvenile detention systems is a horrible idea.
    Correction, it's just one reason why privatizing them is a horrible idea.
  14. 12 Aug '11 16:44
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    This is why privatizing the prison and juvenile detention systems is a horrible idea.
    Do you have some facts to prove that the state run prison and juvenile detention system has been any better?
  15. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Aug '11 18:02
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Do you have some facts to prove that the state run prison and juvenile detention system has been any better?
    Well, obviously, there was never a judge who abused his power until some prisons were privatized.

    Duh.