After more than 10 years of allegedly sending youths to private prisons in exchange for around $1 million in kickbacks, former Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella (photo) was sentenced to 28 years in prison — essentially a life sentence for the 61-year-old convicted criminal.
In February, a jury found Ciavarella guilty on 12 counts of everything from conspiracy and racketeering to money laundering and tax evasion. Another 27 counts, including bribery and extortion, were rejected by jurors.
The federal charges stemmed from Ciavarella’s involvement in a criminal plot to fill up privately owned juvenile-detention facilities. According to prosecutors, he was handing out wildly inappropriate sentences to first-time offenders and even children as young as 10.
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Photo: Mark Ciavarella leaves the federal courthouse in Scranton, Pa.: AP Images