Two Pennsylvania judges sent hundreds of kids to a for-profit detention center in a major kickback scheme. They've just been ordered to pay $200M to their victims.
ยท Aug 18, 2022 ยท

These awful, detestable hacks have already received generous prison sentences for their crimes, but frankly this feels wholly appropriate as well:

Two former Pennsylvania judges who orchestrated a scheme to send children to for-profit jails in exchange for kickbacks were ordered to pay more than $200 million to hundreds of people they victimized in one of the worst judicial scandals in U.S. history.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner awarded $106 million in compensatory damages and $100 million in punitive damages to nearly 300 people in a long-running civil suit against the judges, writing the plaintiffs are "the tragic human casualties of a scandal of epic proportions."

Frankly I'd have preferred the judge fine them $400 million โ€” each โ€” and send them on their way.

The breathtaking awfulness of their crimes can hardly be overstated:

In what came to be known as the kids-for-cash scandal, Mark Ciavarella and another judge, Michael Conahan, shut down a county-run juvenile detention center and accepted $2.8 million in illegal payments from the builder and co-owner of two for-profit lockups. Ciavarella, who presided over juvenile court, pushed a zero-tolerance policy that guaranteed large numbers of kids would be sent to PA Child Care and its sister facility, Western PA Child Care.

That kind of depraved evil is hard to quantify. But $200 million is a decent place to start.

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