Kids for Cash | Chicago Reader

Kids for Cash

Rated NR 102 minutes 2014

In 2008, Pennsylvania judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan were revealed to have secretly accepted millions of dollars from a contractor building for-profit juvenile detention centers; this prompted many to question Ciavarella's record of sentencing hundreds of children to extended terms in detention for minor offenses. Documentary maker Robert May recounts the scandal and profiles four teenagers whom Ciavarella sent away; taking his cues from Michael Moore, he sensationalizes the story with overbearing music and teary-eyed talking heads, encouraging simple outrage over serious analysis of the juvenile justice system, yet this provides enough valuable information to constitute a worthy public service announcement.

Film Credits

Director: Robert May

Producer: Robert May, Lauren Timmons and John Weekley


Kids for Cash

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