Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-27
- Reviewer: Staff
Pulitzer-winning journalist Ecenbarger spares no detail in recounting how two rural Pennsylvania judges' schemed to incarcerate thousands of kids in a privately owned juvenile detention center in exchange for millions in kickbacks. In famously corrupt Luzerne County, juvenile court judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan lobbied for the building of a new juvenile detention center. From 2003 to 2008, Ciavarella then funneled thousands of kids—including nonviolent and first-time offenders—into the new center. In return both he and Conahan were receiving millions of carefully laundered dollars. More troubling was the system's abuse of the children (some as young as 11). Local newspaper reports led to state and federal investigations, and the judges were convicted of racketeering. Ecenbarger lays out the details of the case, emphasizing the very human element of the children who were the victims. Agent: Anita Bartholomew. (Nov.)