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PA GP Condemns Judicial Corruption in Juvenile Detention Scandal

  • Green leaders call into question the privatization of essential public services creating opportunities for corruption
  • Green Party urges local governments to ban private management of public responsibilities such as juvenile detention

White-hot outrage cannot adequately describe the Green Party reaction to revelations of children unjustly sent to Pennsylvania juvenile detention centers on the orders of corrupt local judges.

Two Pennsylvania judges have pleaded guilty to earning millions by wrongfully sending teenagers to privately-run youth detention centers.

Prosecutors say Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan took $2.6 million in payoffs to place juvenile offenders in a situation in which personal greed fed by corporate excess turned people into profit.

Said Carl Romanelli of Luzerne County; “Sadly, Greens have been at odds with these judges here in Luzerne County for years.  It makes one wonder where the peer review has been.  Further, the appeals system in Pennsylvania simply rubber stamps the corrupt decisions of criminal judges.  We must break the cycle of judges protecting themselves, and their exclusive club, rather than protecting the rights of Pennsylvanians.  You need look no deeper than my case with the state court to see this ugly dynamic at play,” said Romanelli referring to his ongoing ballot access court case.

“This calls to the very question of the value of the civil rights of the individual children wrongfully removed from their homes to appease the ‘predatory capitalism’ conducted by Pennsylvania Child Care, LLC” said Hillary Kane, Chair of the Green Party of Pennsylvania. “When I think of the long-term impact unwarranted juvenile detention will have on those children and their families, it really makes me angry.”

“The concept of removing the responsibility and oversight of public governing to private corporations has been one of increasing belief that market forces, which worship profit over people, could deliver services more efficiently and at a lower cost to taxpayers,” said Blyden Potts, Secretary of the Green Party of Pennsylvania. “What you wind up with is this type of abuse that would not occur under a properly-led public administration that respects its citizens.”

The Green Party of Pennsylvania believes local municipal and township governments have the right and duty to refuse the contracting of some state activities. We call for local governments to enact ordinance prohibitions against the private management of public responsibilities, specifically, juvenile detention centers in their locale.

Social Justice remains a key pillar of Green political beliefs. This scandal has shaken Pennsylvanian parents and families to the core. We grieve for the suffering of the parents and young people wrongful abused. Greens call for not only full financial and judicial redress for the innocent people involved, but for a full investigation of the political environment that allowed for the many years of corruption and abuse by the two judges, and those private business interests complicit in this scandal.


One Response

  1. The roots of judicial corruption date back 150 years when big coal mining money began to buy favors from public officials. This corruption spread like a cancer throughout the judicial system and the government and it still persists pervasively even today. Luzerne county continues to be a hotbed of corruption. I recently read a book about one man’s experience with judicial corruption in the Luzerne County courthouse only 10-15 years ago. Even when the corruption was so blatant, so heinous that local newspapers like the Citizen’s Voice ran large articles describing the judge’s abuse of power, he boldly continue his disgusting shenanigans. The judge’s decisions all favored the plaintiff’s attorney, a former law partner and friend of the judge. This was one man’s experience – one of countless, innumerable stories of people’s lives being trampled and abused (and sometimes murdered) to gain power and money for public officials drunk with their evil pursuits.
    I strongly recommend the book “The Luzerne County Railroad” in which a man writes about how his personal liberties and constitutionally-protected rights were trampled and twisted by a corrupt judge. The writer, Larry Hohol, tells his story and backs up every sordid and shocking detail with numerous pictures of newspaper articles from the Citizen’s Voice and other media. After reading the book, I am now convinced that this problem of corruption isn’t going to go away without a fight. Obviously having the light of exposure shed on it isn’t enough to deter these corrupt officials. I hope everyone will read http://www.TheLuzerneCountyRailroad.com and then, armed with new knowledge, take action. Let’s not assume that corruption in the Luzerne County courthouse, and throughout Pennsylvania, will always exist….

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