Pennsylvania - Kids for cash scandal

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The Kids for cash scandal is a story about juridical kickbacks at Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

The kickbacks involve two judges (Mark Ciavarella) and Michael Conahan and a number of state officials so far beside the owners of various facilities [1].


One of the indicted judges were elected in 1995 and very soon he was known for being tough on crime. Years before the juridical kickbacks were discovered this tough line was a subject of debate among watch-organizations [2]. However he remained popular in the population and in the school system [3]

Dispite these critics the judge was re-elected in 2005.

Public reactions

While the outcry is huge when the scandal hit the media there was little or none critizism during the years these judges were in office. There has been speculations whether it was a matter of lack of willpower to accept that the actions of youths could be influenced by dynamics in their family unit rather decisions they make because they were supposed to have been born evil [3].

Relatives of children with mental problems are concerned that the approach made by these judges and their collegues [4].


  • October 30, 2009 it became public that more than 6,500 convictions made by the court had been tossed [5]
  • January 23, 2010 it was reported that the case against the judges was going nowhere [6]

See also

External Links

Info pages

Message boards


  1. PA Cash for Kids Scandal, a thread on Fornits webforum
  2. A family’s nightmare - Plymouth girl, her parents upset with treatment she’s received in her nine months in state custody., By John Davidson, Times Leader, October 29, 2006 (re-print from the webpage of International Survivor Action Committee)
  3. 3,0 3,1 Luzerne's youth-court scandal: How?Why?, By William Ecenbarger, The Philladelphia Inquirer, October 25, 2009
  4. 20-20 Program 3-27-09, a thread on message board on the Conduct Disorders webpage
  5. Penn. Court Tosses 6,500 Juvenile Convictions After Scandal, by Matt Kelley,, October 30, 2009
  6. A year after charges, judges have yet to face justice,, January 23, 2010