Worst Story Ever

Top this: Pennsylvania Juvenile Court judges take $2.6 million in kickbacks from private juvenile detention facilities in exchange for sending them business — in exchange for incarcerating teenagers over minor offenses. Among the Orwellian details: The bribe-paying juvies were named PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care.

If one were of a political frame of mind, one might conclude that this is what inevitably happens when we privatize public institutions and thereby create incentives that are contrary to public policy. Can you imagine privatizing the fire department, and paying them by the fire? Don’t you think that some unscrupulous operator might team up with an arsonist?

Back to the case, the feds are accepting a plea bargain that calls for seven years, three months in prison for the bribe-taking judges. This seems low to me.

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