The more I hear of what happened in Luzerne, the more my heart breaks.
Summary: Over five years over 6000 children were driven into the PA juvenile ‘justice’ system while a judge received kickbacks.
Inquirer: William Ecenbarger: Luzerne officials deny knowing of abuse
Inquirer: Deferential culture abetted rotten judges:
An 11-member Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice has been created to identify “those who knew but failed to speak” and “those who saw but failed to act.” The commission, which held hearings in Wilkes-Barre this week, faces a daunting task, because complicity in the scandal goes beyond even the lawyers, elected officials, school administrators, teachers, probation officers, and prosecutors charged with protecting the children who were victimized.
The parents of the victims are also to blame. They had a responsibility to ask why Ciavarella did not allow legal representation for their children. If they couldn’t afford counsel, they should have demanded that the court appoint a public defender, which is a constitutional right. And they should have appealed when their children were incarcerated for what didn’t even amount to a misdemeanor.
The reasons for their negligence are deeply rooted. They are products of a regional culture that emphasizes deference to public officials and retribution for those who challenge authority.
The Pennsylvania Juvenile Law Center is seeking out those who’ve been effected by this, anonymously if so desired.
It has a page detailing the corruption and the ongoing fallout.