47 votes

Pennsylvania judge sentenced to 28 years in prison for selling teens to prisons.

Disgraced Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella Jr has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for conspiring with private prisons to sentence juvenile offenders to maximum sentences for bribes and kickbacks which totaled millions of dollars. He was also ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution.

In the private prison industry the more time an inmate spends in a facility, the more of a profit is reaped from the state. Ciavearella was a figurehead in a conspiracy in the state of Pennsylvania which saw thousands of young men and women unjustly punished and penalized in the name of corporate profit.

According to allgov.com Ciavearella's cases from 2003 - 2008 were reviewed by a special investigative panel and later by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and it was found that upwards of 5,000 young men and women were...

More here: http://www.examiner.com/article/pennsylvania-judge-sentenced...

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While fascist 'private' prisons are rediculous,

It doesn't really matter if the prison is 'non-profit' or privatized. Public guard unions are the same damn thing. They both cage for profit. In any case, this guy was a special kind of scumbag.

Hmm. I wonder why this old song came to mind.

"They're locking them up today
They're throwing away the key
I wonder who it'll be tomorrow, you or me..."


When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

He should be sentanced

to something as horrible as what he did. At this point I think slitting his stomach open and hanging him by his entrails would be close. Sorry about the graphic image but this sort of thing makes me mad.

regret to be the one to tell ya

but this man will never spend anywhere over a year in "jail". He was sentenced to 28 years, but there will an endless amount of motions to stay, amend, and whatever other legal words they will call the BS.

He will NEVER set foot in a real prison and I would be willing to bet he will not spend 12 months actually incarcerated anywhere that he cannot leave each and everyday.

He will not actually pay any material amount of restitution.

This is a headline to fool people into thinking the system is capable of working.

Could a justice system that perpetrated these crime really work? Sure, just like there was only one criminal involved in this travesty.

I respect the people on this site too much to not be honest.


Liberty = Responsibility

Rest assured

he, and his partner are both in the pokey and have been for about 6 months. He did his best to hide his money by transferring it to relatives but he hasn't succeeded. Right before he went to jail he was actually "working" as a house painter and odd jobs type. His high maintenance old lady took the money she could salvage and filed for divorce.

There are no politicians or bankers in foxholes.

Cyril's picture

Why do I hope you are wrong, while I'm afraid you are not?

Why do I hope you are wrong, while I'm afraid you are not?

A rhetorical question.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Be careful with this. This

Be careful with this. This isn't a case of "corporate" greed. This is a case of crony capitalism, or facism. In a free market capitalist society, private prisons wouldn't make profit from having inmates. They would have to pay to house them.

Only in a fascist state where the prisons are paid per prisoner by the state, do you find this kind of evil, where greedy government thugs are incentivised to unjustly lock people in a cage for payoffs.

Im always hesitant to say things like "corpriate greed" because it gives the wrong impression and upholds the erronious idea that corporations are all evil, and the government has to save us from them. This is where liberals get it so very wrong. Corporations like that can only exist when they have a friend who has taken a "right" to initiate force against innocent people.

Cyril's picture



"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

From where would these private prisons derive their income?

Namely, income that would exceed "cost per prisoner" expenses by enough in total to make the venture worthwhile, that is, to be profitable enough.

A prison should have nothing to do with profit.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

While its not easy to predict

While its not easy to predict how a stateless society would operate, my guess is that what little "incarceration" there would be, would be paid for by free market arbitration companies who got made their money by the "justice insurance" people pay for when they enter contracts or if they wish to be able to arbitrate "laws" with enforcement on their properties. I highly doubt there would be much incarceration at all in a stateless society. Those who violated rights would be marked for life and be prohibited from entering people's private property. Most "justice" would be in the form of fines, banishment or recompense.

Still, I expect both private security/defense companies and arbitration companies would have holding cells for dangerous criminals. All incentives would be to deal out punishments quickly and efficiently so as to avoid the expenses of long-term incarceration.

There's a great series of libertarian sci-fi novels called "The Golden Age" that go into a very free-market justice system where criminals are essentially marked until they pay their debt, suffer their punishment or are otherwise dealt with. Given grievous enough crimes, they are utterly banished from being able to go anywhere, and if they enter a private property, the property owners are within their right to defend their property with deadly force. Of course the only "crimes" are violations of other people's rights. There are no victimless crimes.

A more temporal theory on how justice and defense would operate in a free market can be found at mises.org. Spend some time on there going through their lectures on a stateless society. Very enlightening.

I don't think human nature is going to change any time soon.

While I'll check out your recommendation to try to understand this better, from what you said, it seems that there would still be a "payment per prisoner" involved - with that money just coming from an insurance company vs. the government. The insurance industry is also rife with corruption - on both sides certainly but, yes, including on the part of service providers, e.g., medical doctors, dentists, psychiatrists, psychologists, MSW's. I have no reason to believe that prison operators have higher standards.

And yes, I'm aware of shunning, such as apparently is still practiced among the Amish. That is, in a relatively small, religion-centered, agricultural community where people know each other by name and have regular work, church, and/or social interaction. It's nothing that would happen in, say, NYC.

Furthermore (forgetting such an atypical American scenario as the Amish), the way it works in real life, people do not necessarily side with what or who represents "right" vs. "wrong." They (meaning not anonymous commenters on a blog but real people, for example and beginning with, friends and family) side with whoever has the most money and/or power. Ask anyone who works with (or just knows of) cases of domestic violence. Or child abuse, including within a church.

Sounds Utopian to me. But thank you for your response, and I'll check out what the mises institute has to say on it.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

You misunderstand, I don't

You misunderstand, I don't think there would be a "prison system."

Lets say you live in a neighborhood in a stateless society, and you want to have legal protection from criminals and enforcement for your property rights. You higher a "Bob's Security," a reputable security company with reasonable rates. Perhaps your costs are part of your HOA bill, or you selected Bob's via your insurance plan. Bob's security patrol your neighborhood and will respond to emergency calls you make. If Bob's Security company apprehends a criminal, they have to house them in their detention center until the arbitration services weighs the evidence, or holds a jury trial and renders a verdict wherein the criminal has to pay restitution to those he caused harm too.

Bob's Security has to pay for feeding and housing criminals and so they would prefer to do so as little as possible. These are expenses that come out of Bob's bottom line, just like equipment, ammo and vehicles his security forces use. There is no real incentive for them to incarcerate people, expend ammunition, or loose assets/men in combat, unlike our current system. However as their company's profile is at the mercy of its customers, they know they have to maintain a good reputation for dispensing fair justice and solid protection, otherwise they will begin to loose customers to Neil's Security company.

This same philosophy would work with Arbitration companies who judge cases and carry out sentences of criminals who are apprehended and proven guilty by a jury of their peers.

The key to success is ruthless competition among companies who have no "government" to bribe for special favors/regulations/privileges to give them advantage over their competitors. They live or die by pleasing their customers. In the age of the internet, transparent customer reviews of a business never go away, and in a ruthlessly competitive capitalist market place, Bob's Security will never have a chance against Larry's, Ted's and Neil's security companies if he has dissatisfied customers and low ratings because he skimps out, overcharges, or fails to protect customers.

It may be utopian, but only because we live in a society brainwashed with arbitrary authority who don't understand that we can govern ourselves. Who don't understand that a company can offer the same services a government does without pretending it has the right to deprive you of your rights "legally." That if your company is corrupt, you put his ass out of business by voting with your wallet. It is utopian "now" and only until we raise a generation of kids who are educated in liberty and understand they own themselves. They understand what a dumbass notion it is that their parents used to think they needed a "leader" to tell them what to do.

There's no such thing as a society without crime or corruption, but why not start with one where that crime and corruption isn't written into the law itself by setting up a group of humans who doesn't need to please customers, and is incentivised to go to war, incarcerate and steal our private property through taxation.

I see. Thank you for explaining that. I did misunderstand.

And don't get me wrong. I'm no one to shun "utopian" ideals except to think that it's something that government can legislate. As you, I believe a better, freer world is possible *with* new generations that think in a different way than has been customary. But, while I wholeheartedly agree as to the concept of (realization of) self government, I don't think the solution is "an education in liberty." I'm against any proselytizing to children regardless of political agenda. Well, it's important to understand the nuts and bolts of how such systems might work, but that's not at the crux of what will effect change. That ("education" in terms of some body of knowledge) is not what makes for free human beings. Real change *towards freedom* will come when people's motivations start to change, namely, when people are *internally motivated* vs. motivated by the typical systems of rewards & punishments (that, frankly, treats people no different than dogs). It will also require development of the will. P.S. Today's education system and today's media & technology fosters the opposite.
See - http://www.dailypaul.com/310108/billy-graham-s-grandson-take...
I'm going to find a couple articles on education I think might be of interest to you.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Cyril's picture

Reason for my up vote

I up voted the comment if only for its second paragraph, which makes the point I care the most about, because of its vast implications in general.

Beyond that, I don't have a definitive opinion on how prisons, specifically, should be managed, or what their ideal status ought to be.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Yes, prisons "pay" for

prisoners - but how is that different than any corporation that has certain fixed and non-fixed expenses? Why would any private company (prison or otherwise) even go into a venture unless it did stand to make a profit? Where do you see the profit coming from? Profit is income less expensive. IN the case of prisons, that income would be coming from the government. Maybe I'm missing something here. If so, can you explain. I see it as nothing BUT a dangerous mix rife with conflict of interest.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

see above

see above

If this were a pimp selling

underaged girls, he'd get life in prison.

A judge gets 28 years for his "service."

Fucking makes me sick as a Veteran.

Sometimes, I do hope for a violent revolution. But I'd rather see a peaceful one.

If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

I do understand.

Tyrants like this Judge should be taken on and shot in the balls with a pellet gun a few times. Then he should serve his sentence in general population. Let him get it up the ass every night. The only rule for that should be no lube or spit when he get screwed. I sorry when it comes to scum like this I lose my libertarianism.

I butted heads with this judge

as well as his co defendant Conahan. At the time I had a hot dog cart at the Luzerne County Courthouse and it scared the dickens out of the establishment that some one was making a living there who wasn't one of their political slaves and who might by privy to the goings on. The media was all over their attempts to toss me and eventually they relented, or so I thought. They had embarrassed their selves with their pettiness and that would not go unanswered.
One evening a few juvenile delinquents were acting up outside of my home and actually attacked me. When the police arrived, including 4 neighboring municipalities officers, I was attacked, seriously injured and arrested. The case was dismissed when it was revealed that the cop's were uncertified and thus unable to effect a lawful arrest. Not to be dissuaded, the D.A. who over saw the mass incarceration of all the kids, appealed the dismissal and our esteemed Superior Court re instituted the charges against me. Two days before trial my attorney informed me that he was off the case and I was on my own. At trial a jury was seated and over the prosecutors vehement objections I got the cop to state on the stand that he was not a legal police officer at the time of my arrest. My motion to dismiss was summarily dismissed and the "jury" found me guilty of resisting arrest. Luzerne County justice is the best you can buy.
My only solace in the whole affair was that I'm certain it cost someone a lot of bucks to engineer this. The D.A. who prosecuted me and over saw the mass incarceration of the kids was shortly there after elected to a judgeship but all was not well. His father, a prominent lawyer in the area who bankrolled his election is now locked up for embezzling millions of clients monies. He's falling back on the old tried and true defense of being senile and unable to understand the charges.

There are no politicians or bankers in foxholes.

What and effed up country we live in

So he made "millions" yet only has to pay back 1.2 in restitution. SO HE GETS TO KEEP THE EFFIN PROFITS!!!!!

And can someone tell me how the hell he gets off with 28 years?

Or a better question - how does he do this to 5000 people - and nobody - not one person - sought justifiable revenge? Sorry people - but there in lies the problem - the sheep are playing by the rules while the wolves laugh at them.

What about the bribers? And the 100s of other scumbag judges?

What about the bribers? You know, the corporate for-profit jailers who paid him to lock up the kids? Are they being pursued for being the filthy Dachau dirtbags that they are? And what about the hundreds and hundreds of other scumbag judges who have been paid big bucks to lock up kids?

I want to see some justice served on a porcelain platter.

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"

There were two others involved

One was an individual named Miracle who made his fortune taking old strip mines in the area and reclaiming them for industrial use. the other named Powell is a real estate developer and was a lawyer until they revoked his license to practice over this. They both received probation and a slap on the wrist fine, however, just last week, Powell was charged with failure to follow his probation. My biggest issue is with the then D.A. who was elected to a judgeship after this story broke and with the cops who were the drag nets to bring in the prey, some of who were locked up for merely speaking a swear word in school. All of the kids locked up by these miscreants , whether guilty of something or not, have received a financial settlement while I'm watching my county taxes skyrocket.

There are no politicians or bankers in foxholes.

"Limited" government.

THIS is my case for OPPOSING privatized prisons. THIS is my case for LIMITED government.

"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul

wow red tagged who did that a NSA agent or something?

The goverment if there going to be one should be very limited.. but It may be way to late.

"Truth" is the only thing left.
The American public gets such censored NEWS
The problem as I see it today.. is the goverment isn't very good at reining its spending in.. and they give away our kids future to corrupt private banks is unbelievable.

If it's cool I think I will start a topic with what seems apparent to me.

We now have a system that's acts like a old banana goverment.

are no longer your friend.. they censor it kind of like the most transparent goverment ever
The joke of freedom we have somehow gotten into

check this out

Just want what seems to be missing, Truth and Justice for ALL
What is fraud except creating “value” from nothing and passing it off as something?

This is the stuff of horror stories, like Creighton's Coma.

"...a conspiracy in the state of Pennsylvania which saw thousands of young men and women unjustly punished and penalized in the name of corporate profit." That cretin actually claimed it was no more than a FINDER'S FEE.

I'm horrified by this story. Some of those locked up were CHILDREN as young as 10 years old. That one mother said that when her son finally came home, he was a different person. Yeah, no kidding.



3. GIVEN THE MAGNITUDE OF THE OFFENSE - 5,000+ people in ONE district alone - AND HOW LONG IT WENT ON UNDETECTED - 5 YEARS - along with the young ages of some of the ALLEGED offenders, with God only knows what effect on their lives - IT WARRANTS AN INVESTIGATION INTO EVERY PRIVATIZED PRISON SYSTEM IN NOT JUST PENNSYLVANIA, BUT THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir


Or more commonly referred to as Fascism.

That is one of the most insidious indoctrinations of recent times: the Liberal agenda to rename Fascism as Capitalism in an effort to replace it with Socialism while forgetting both are different faces of the same Tyranny.

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

Public-private partnerships (PPP's) are insidious all right, BUT

they are hardly limited to a liberal agenda:
~ Yes, on the LEFT, they're one means to GAIN CONTROL OF PROPERTIES and, therefore land use, in line with goals of Agenda 21/ICLEI.
~ On the RIGHT, the PRIVATISATION of gov't PROPERTIES and DUTIES are touted as a means to SAVE MONEY/REDUCE TAXES.

That's part of why they ARE so insidious. Both parties have reason to support them *because* or *in spite* of the fact THEY TAKE POWER FROM THE PEOPLE. They make for bigger gov't & more powerful corporations.

Who even knows where to begin to fight this issue when laws concerning GOV'T AGENCIES are DIFFERENT than laws for PRIVATE CORPORATIONS. That's one reason they're so dangerous. What laws *do* govern PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS? Who knows! It's all AMBIGUOUS. But this much I know: once a private corporation is just *partially* involved, protections such as sunshine laws DON'T APPLY.

P.S. There are LOTS of uses of PPP's! When residents of a NYS township voted against funding a BASEBALL STADIUM because they didn't WANT a stadium in the midst of their residential neighborhood, they *thought* they'd put the issue to rest. Surprise! TPTB got corporate funding and built the $%^& thing anyway.
For info on PPP's, see: What are Public Private Partnerships?

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

tasmlab's picture

Naked face of fascism

A "private'' industry with one customer, being the government, fed by violence to commit violence. How else could it behave?

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

How could it go wrong?

How could it go wrong?

Author of Shades of Thomas Paine, a common sense blog with a Libertarian slant.


Also author of Stick it to the Man!


They sacrifice one of their own

but the beat goes on.

Hundreds more just like him.