Judges Cash In on Prison Profits

Peace be with you

I recently discussed private for profit prisons for youths. In fact I went to jail for trying to address this concern with the County Supes. It turns out that as I was arguing these facts here in Humboldt County, two Judges in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania were making millions sending kids to these internment camps.

The NY Times wrote today that judge Michael T. Conahan secured contracts with two youth detention centers, while Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. made sure they stayed full.

A few of you will blame the Judge for being wrong, but I see this as the only outcome that came be expected from making jails a profitable corporation. If it was apples they would want as many apples as they can get paid for, and likewise it is children, and they want as many as they can have.

Unfortunately I used NIN’s “head like a hole,” with it’s great line “God money lets go dancing on the backs of the bruised,” just a couple of posts ago. But, just like Stillman believes it’s “good busyness” to cause suffering amongst the poor for her profit, these judges felt the same way.

The article said the two Judges made over 2.6 million dollars in kick backs, and imprisoned over 5000 children since starting the scheme in 2003.

These two judges got 87 months in federal prison and resign from the bench and bar. The articles claims that though Ciavarella plead guilty to wire fraud and income tax fraud, the unrepentant judge claims it was not quid pro quo. Yea right 2.6 mil., 5000 children and the judge claims it wasn’t “something for something?”

We must stop making punishment such a lucrative busyness. If we feel it so important to place a human being in jail, then we should be prepared to be responsible enough to not make a profit off it.

love eternal


7 Responses to “Judges Cash In on Prison Profits”

  1. The Noble Lie Says:

    I noticed this one and mentioned it on my Facebook … utterly disgusting.

  2. The Noble Lie Says:

    Here’s another story I found the same day.. You’ve probably already seen it.

    Army Suicides in January Outnumbered Combat Deaths

    Why? According to the Food and Drug Administration “black box” warnings on Prozac and other so-called antidepressants, “Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents and young adults.”

  3. theplazoid Says:

    Peace be with you

    I heard about the army suicides. I remember thinking a couple of years ago when I read an article about “pre-inoculating soldiers for PTSD,” that this policy will lead to a lot of psychosis and suicide among vets. The article didn’t say they were giving anti-psychotics, but every other time they “screen for mental illness” some screened got doped. I don’t know if you know about Furious Seasons (http://www.furiousseasons.com/), but Philip over there has an ear to the ground when it comes to mental health system issues. He catches a lot of these stories before they hit the Times.

    As far as the judge thing goes these prison companies are everywhere and they get contracts with counties. In my opinion a for profit jailing system is more likely than not to have these types of problems arise. The question now is how many other judges, department heads, and supervisors around the country are acting in a like manner? Perhaps our entire prison over crowding problem is a direct result of people in power boosting their incomes.

    love eternal


    news article.

    Tad is innocent!

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District


    Apparently, the two judges set up a corporation in Florida to be able to launder this horrific scheme. So, how often have Humboldt County Judges engaged in the Spoils of Political Power? Answer is too often. The Judicial Branch of Government is failing The Citizenry.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  6. Kym Says:

    Tad, Excellent essay! I heard about this on NPR the other night and thought the same thing but less articulately. They also had a story on a man who is sueing over being put in the “shoe,” solitary confinement. Our prison system is an ugly cancer spreading illness in our society!

  7. The Noble Lie Says:

    Thanks Tad, I hadn’t heard of that site but I’ll check it out!

    I hope people remember this story when they think putting on a big black dress (judge’s outfit) automatically makes somebody an honorable and honest member of the community.

    In the investment world, prison stocks are rated on a “per bed” basis – ie, how much will your/our stock value go up per extra incarcerated individual.

    Anybody who wants to dig into this disgusting world of prisons and profits, working both sides of the system (passing draconian new laws to “increase demand for services”), and so on, can start with the account of Catherine Austin Fitts, former Bush I cabinet member and Wall St. bigwig.

    Dillon Read & the Aristocracy of Stock Profits

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