This Judge Sold Children To Private Prisons For Cash, Now He's Facing Nearly 30 Years

28 years behind bars; that's what Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. has been sentenced to for literally selling children to private prisons for a profit.

Ciavarella, a Pennsylvania judge, was sentenced to 28 years in prison for taking money under the table from a developer and jailing thousands of kids and adults. Some of these kids are as young as ten years old. Viacarella made more than a million dollars off this scheme.

Around 4,000 convictions that were issued by Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008 have been overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court due to his violations of their constitutional rights.

As the Tallahassee O reports:

Among the young people exploited by Ciavarella were 15-year-old Hillary Transue, who was sentenced to three months at a juvenile detention center for mocking an assistant principal on a MySpace page; and 13-year-old Shane Bly, who was sent to a boot camp for two weekends after being accused of trespassing in a vacant building.

Another judge, Michael T. Conahan, used his position to shut down the county-run juvenile detention center and redirect juvenile detainees to the private prisons. He pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.

Robert Mericle, the builder of the PA and Western PA Child Care Juvenile Detention Centers has received one year in prison and a $2 million fine for his role in the scheme.

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