Inside One of the Nation’s Most Shocking Juvenile Justice Scandals
‘Today a special on “kids for cash,” the shocking story of how thousands of children in Pennsylvania were jailed by two corrupt judges who received $2.6 million in kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities. We hear from two of the youth: Charlie Balasavage was sent to juvenile detention after his parents unknowingly bought him a stolen scooter; Hillary Transue was detained for creating a MySpace page mocking her assistant high school principal. They were both 14 years old and were sentenced by the same judge, Judge Mark Ciavarella, who is now in jail himself — serving a 28-year sentence. Balasavage and Transue are featured in the new documentary, “Kids for Cash,” by filmmaker Robert May, who also joins us…’
The Cause behind dramatic falls in rape cases sent for charging
‘Research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveals that tougher evidence standards and early intervention from prosecutors have contributed to this dramatic decline. The findings were described by the Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry, as ’cause for profound concern’.
‘The CPS told the Bureau that as part of a wider review it would now examine whether changes in evidence standards imposed by police and its own charging guidance had affected referral rates. It added that there is ‘currently no evidence’ of a link between the drop in referrals and its lawyers’ early involvement in rape cases.
‘Data obtained by the Bureau shows the decline in referrals has coincided with a fall in numbers of suspected rapists being charged…’
PTSD Rampant in High-Crime US Cities
‘…Fully 43 percent of the patients they examined – and more than half of gunshot-wound victims – had signs of PTSD.
‘“We knew these people were going to have PTSD symptoms,” said Kimberly Joseph, a trauma surgeon at the hospital. “We didn’t know it was going to be as extensive.”
‘What the work showed, Joseph said, is, “This is a much more urgent problem than you think.”
‘Joseph proposed spending about $200,000 a year to add staffers to screen all at-risk patients for PTSD and connect them with treatment. The taxpayer-subsidized hospital has an annual budget of roughly $450 million. But Joseph said hospital administrators turned her down and suggested she look for outside funding…’
Record Number Of Inmates Were Exonerated Last Year For Crimes They Didn’t Commit
‘In 2013, a record number of inmates were exonerated for serious crimes they didn’t commit, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Registry of Exonerations.
‘The registry is a collaboration between the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. At the time of its creation two years ago, researchers had found 873 individuals exonerated since 1989. The database now tallies about 1,300 wrongful convictions…’