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Pa. House passes judicial advisory measure

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010



A measure expanding the scope of a statewide judicial advisory panel cleared the House with unanimous support this week.

The bill was crafted in response to the Luzerne County “kids for cash” scandal, where two judges allegedly sent children to privately-run juvenile detention centers in exchange for kickbacks.

The measure provides more resources for the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission, which sets guidelines for Pennsylvania’s youth courts.

Sponsor Phyllis Mundy, a Luzerne County Democrat, says the legislation would give the Commission money and staff to collect more data from court systems, and to identify red flag trends, like increased incarceration rates for first-time offenders.

So this bill would give them that authority. To collect the data statewide, analyze it and disseminate the information to interested parties who have a relationship to the court. And would be able to then say, this is inappropriate, what’s going on here?

The special commission investigating the Luzerne County scandal recommended giving more power to the JCJC in its May report.

The measure passed the House on a 190-0 vote, but it’s unclear whether the Senate will act on the legislation


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