PA Greens react to judicial corruption

In a press release, the Pennsylvania Green Party takes on a relevant local issue:

White-hot outrage cannot adequately describe Green reaction to revelations
of children unjustly sent to PA 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.

“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.

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.

3 thoughts on “PA Greens react to judicial corruption

  1. Mik Robertson

    It seems the public judiciary was just as much at fault as the private detention facilities. Criminals are criminals, be they in the public or private sector.

    I suspect families wrongfully separated by judges sending kids to publicly funded and operated detention facilities are just as grief-stricken as those who went to the private facility.

    The criminal justice system is clearly not perfect, look at the exonerations from death row that the Innocence Project has obtained. Securing individual rights requires constant vigilance.

    Further, contracting government services does not really constitute a free market or adequately reflect market forces. Contracting Halliburton or Blackwater to do the job of the US military is not a demonstration of free market forces, just as contracting detention services is not a free market choice.

    This is, however, a very good example of fascism in action. The marriage of the corporation and the state. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is full of such examples, though not all involve this degree of criminal activity.

  2. HS

    The bigger problem isn’t private vs public outsourcing. It’s the fact that something like 90 percent of kids who end up in court do not have lawyers. Even though children are entitled to an attorney, even a public defender if indigent, most parents with kids facing relatively minor charges elect to just go and get community service or probation. The judges in PA took advantage of that lack of representation.

  3. paulie cannoli

    “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.”

    Market forces are hardly at work when government courts, enforcing government laws (many of them against victimless crimes), against people arrested by government police, are sent to crony capitalist corporate concentration camps which are…

    …chartered by the state

    …protected from full non-contractual liability by the state

    …paid for either entirely or partially by the state.

    Privately run? Sure, to privatize profit while socializing risk – but this is not, not, not a true free market.

    And real free market advocates need to point that out every chance we get.

    Mik, has the LPPa put out anything about this?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *