Juvenile justice reform in the wake of “Kids for Cash”
August 18, 2015
Guests: Marsha Levick, Bob Casey, Lauren Fine
No other news story highlighted the problems in juvenile justice more than Pennsylvania’s own “Kids for Cash” scandal. This was the kickback scheme in which Luzerne County judges received illegal payments for sending young offenders to for-profit facilities. Last week, a federal judge ordered one of the prominent figures of the scandal to pay almost $5 million to the victims of the infamous scheme in an attempt to finalize the matter. Today, we’ll talk about the settlement, the long shadow of Kids for Cash, and what other reforms are needed to create a more sustainable and responsible juvenile justice system. We’ll be joined by MARSHA LEVICK, deputy director of the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center, the non-profit that brought the Kids for Cash scandal to light. And, we’ll hear about the ways in which juveniles are funneled into the adult court system from LAUREN FINE, co-director of the Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project. We’ll also be joined by Pennsylvania Senator BOB CASEY, who will tell us about the bipartisan legislation that he has introduced that would lighten some of the sentencing for juveniles.