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12 Aug 2015

Jon Schuppe, NBC News (USA)

Pennsylvania Seeks to Close Books on "Kids for Cash" Scandal

...[T]he case is entering its final chapter: a few remaining class action lawsuits in which victims are seeking millions of dollars in compensation...Robert Powell, would pay $4.75 million. The actual payouts will begin in December, after the plaintiffs choose whether to accept the settlement. Powell, who co-owned two private juvenile justice facilities, served an 18-month prison term after admitting to paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to former Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. and his boss, Judge Michael Conahan. In return, Ciavarella routinely found children guilty and sent them to Powell's facilities...The victims and their families have also won millions in judgments from Mericle and Powell's companies. All that's left to adjudicate now are two additional class-action claims against Ciavarella and Conahan, said Marsha Levick, deputy director of Juvenile Law Center, the Philadelphia non-profit that sparked the case when it began investigating questionable juvenile lockups in Luzerne County in 2007.