Constitutional Law

Kids-for-Cash Scandal Sparks Report Urging Sweeping Juvie Court Changes

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A Pennsylvania judge appointed by the state supreme court to review cases in a troubled county in which senior judges allegedly took what amounted to kickbacks for jailing juveniles has issued a report recommending sweeping changes in the juvenile court system.

Among them: Juvenile court hearings should be public, attorneys should be appointed to represent those who can’t afford counsel and each county should have an ombudsman to serve as a liaison between judges, juveniles and parents, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Standard Speaker.

“Although what happened in Luzerne County was in many ways an aberration, it also needs to serve as a clarion call to those of us who believe, with good reason, that the juvenile justice system in Pennsylvania is among the best in the United States,” says Senior Berks County Court Judge Arthur Grim. “Clearly there are serious issues that need to be addressed.”

Earlier coverage:

ABA Journal: “Town Without Pity” “Top Pa. Court Vacates 6,000+ Juvenile Rulings By Ex-Luzerne County Judge” “Conduct Board Didn’t Probe Complaints Against Pa. Judge Accused of Kickbacks”

Citizens Voice: “Ciavarella, Conahan want trial moved out of state”

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