Mark Ciavarella Jr, a 61-year old former judge in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for literally selling young juveniles for cash. He was convicted of accepting money in exchange for incarcerating thousands of adults and children into a prison facility owned by a developer who was paying him under the table. The kickbacks amounted to more than $1 million.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned some 4,000 convictions issued by him between 2003 and 2008, claiming he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles – including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea. Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old.
Ciavarella was convicted of 12 counts, including racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also ordered to repay $1.2 million in restitution.
His “kids for cash” program has revealed that corruption is indeed within the prison system, mostly driven by the growth in private prisons seeking profits by any means necessary.
Why might this not be a HUGE national story and his name not household? I’ll give you one guess what color those kids were.
Getting me to Ferguson
The last moments of Michael Brown’s life were filled with shock, fear and terror, says a witness who stood just feet away as a police officer shot and killed the unarmed teen.
“I saw the barrel of the gun pointed at my friend,” said Dorian Johnson, 22. “Then I saw the fire come out of the barrel.”
Brown’s killing on Saturday afternoon has sparked protests and rioting in this small, hardscrabble suburb of St. Louis, where tensions continue to rise between the police and the largely black, mostly poor community. Brown’s shooting lifted the lid on a pot that had long been bubbling .
What I Need
The $800 goal
Would fund my transportation from NJ to St Louis, my lodging and meals while in St Louis. As well as printed materials to be distributed at rallies/protests.
To support the development of mass self-managed organizations in the community that can address the murder of Mike Brown.
To help create a sustainable movement that can address struggles of police brutality, racial profiling,housing,transportation, pollution, welfare rights, and the issues of the day.
Political ideas and strategies need to be informed by practical experience. This means that the political organization needs to bring together activists who are rooted in working class communities and their mass organizations and struggles. Through our active presence we can learn from others. Through our participation and organizing activity, and the influence of our ideas, we can build a social base to not only have DEMANDS MET but to CREATE REAL CHANGE.
We must defend Ferguson.
Other Ways You Can Help
Some people just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help:
Ask folks to get the word out and make some noise about this campaign by using the gofundme share tools!
Thank you for your support!
Never would I have imagined we’d reach this goal, and because of you all, we made it. I say we, because I am representing for all those you cannot physically go.
Please follow me on twitter / instagram @zellieimani as I will be posting constant updates once I arrive at St Louis.
Feel free to continue to share or encourage others to donate, every dime helps.