Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Pennsylvania case shows the dangers of private enterprise in the prison system

Back in 2009 I blogged several times about the scandal in the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system.

Judges in the state's juvenile courts were revealed to be taking payments amounting to $26m from the operators of juvenile detention facilities in return for ensuring that a steady supply of youngsters were given custodial sentences -even if their offences did not warrant them.

Eventually one of the judges involved, Mark Ciavarella Jnr, was sentenced to 28 years for his part in the affair.

This video from Democracy Now tells the full story of the Pennsylvania scandal and sounds a serious warning about the involvement of private enterprise in the prison system.

I can also recommend Niles Christie's book Crime Control as Industry.

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