Kids for Cash 2014 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(34) IMDb 7/10
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3,000 kids. 1 judge. Millions of dollars. This riveting doc reveals the untold stories of a judicial scandal that rocked America and the chilling aftermath of the lives destroyed in the process. "Kids for Cash" reveals a shocking American secret told from the perspectives of the villains, the victims and the unsung heroes who helped uncover the scandal

Runtime:
1 hour, 42 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

Kids for Cash

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Documentary
Director Robert May
Studio FilmBuff
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 34 customer reviews
This is a story that definitely needed to be told.
Go Cubs
Really sad that the very people that you expect to enforce the law do things like this!
Diane Schneider
Who now suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
NewAgeMama

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By NewAgeMama TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 23, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Former Judge Conohan currently serving seventeen years in Federal Prison, and Former Judge Ciavarella currently serving twenty eight years in Federal Prison isn't enough justice or punishment for these two! Former Judge Ciavarella incarcerated three thousand children. With kickbacks from the detention facilities.

All families need to watch this documentary, And this happened in a small town in Pennsylvania just a couple hours from where I live with my husband, my daughter who is ten and my son who is seven. This was horrifying, frightening and sad to watch. To think that petty juvenile pranks, and other actions such as hair pulling girl fight, or even a teenager cursing at an adult landed these teens and younger in a discusting, filthy Juvenile Detention Center. All at the hands of former Judge Ciavarella. As a parent, this brought goose bumps and tears to watch. No parent should have to watch their child be taking away in shackles!

These kids were tried by Judge Ciavarella and sentenced without Attorney representation. It is heart wrenching watching and listening to these young children and their parents tell their stories. One young girl tells how she pleaded please put her on house arrest, she misses her family, and she will never fight again. She spent four years before going home. Who now suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. One teen tells how he made sure there weren't any roaches before laying down.

Bids were being submitted for a new Juvenile Detention Center. To no surprise Mericle Builder (referred by Judge Ciavarella), got the bid. So Judge Conohan and Judge Ciavarella got a finders fee from Mr. Mericle of 10% of his construction cost. Which totaled 2.2 million dollars. This isn;t illegal in Real Estate, but is illegal when Judge Ciavarella didn't advice the people of judicial decisions.

This is a movie I intend to watch with other family members. And will suggest to others as well.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Melchiondo on May 24, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Hard to imagine that is something which occurred so very recently in Pennsylvania. Kids For Cash is a movie that all parents must watch and learn from, as corruption, greed and ignorance will be with us forever! Never waive your child's right to an attorney. I am so grateful for the participation of all involved in this nightmare and I wish them well.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sloan Young on June 10, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
This moving documentary shows with great emotional power how a corrupt juvenile court judge ad the corrections industry conspired to destroy the lives of several adolescents whose offenses hardly seemed to fit the category of criminal behavior.
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It is cognitively difficult to rate something "I Love It" when you find the central characters so despicable. Nevertheless, every person with even an inkling of interest in our juvenile justice system should see this documentary. Incarceration and rehabilitation are core functions of government. This film is a perfect example of the corruption that will inevitably poison the justice system when profit opportunity is introduced into the equation, whether that profit opportunity comes in the form of a locally-run entity (as in Luzerne County) or in the form of multi-state corporations such as CCA or the Geo Group.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RKirsch on November 19, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
This is such an important film! Every parent should watch it, everyone who cares about kids should watch it.... I would very much like to see more editions, on custody court cases that go spectacularly wrong or on social workers that violate dhs policies and never get charged with any crime and never even get fired. CPS is like a tax funded organized crime ring that's got to be stopped...
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
In the 2013 documentary KIDS FOR CASH, jailed judge Mark Ciavarella, Jr., insists the money he took from private penitentiaries had nothing to do with the fact the he sentenced many children to serve time in them. As the film explains, Ciavarella's juvenile court was throwing middle school and high school kids behind bars for trivial offenses years before he lined his pockets with that prison cash.

Congratulations, Judge Ciavarella. You're not that greedy, you are just profoundly ignorant, thinking it's okay to jail a 12-year old for mouthing off because the letter of the law - as opposed to the spirit of the law - allows it. Well, now you're in jail but not because it could be proved you took bribes from prison profiteers in exchange for sending underaged convicts their way. However, you did violate the letter of the law when you accepted illegal payments from a real estate developer. Yet, you turn around and cry that you did not violate the spirit of the law. Wait a second. The logic you apply when sentencing a 14-year old girl to five years because she got in fight at school should apply to you, too, right? So please don't dispute your 28-year sentence.

The authorities are supposed to protect the powerless from the powerful. Yet, in KIDS FOR CASH we see as unnerving an example of America's decline of the past 35 years as any, where children who need help suffer because they are helpless. How did George W. Bush miss appointing "Justice" Ciavarella to the Supreme Court?
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Format: DVD
“Kids For Cash” investigates a notorious scandal. In the wake of the shootings at Columbine High School, a small town in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, elected a charismatic judge who was determined to keep his kids in line. His harsh sentences ripped more than 3,000 children from their families and imprisoned them for years for petty crimes. When one parent dared to question his brand of justice, it was revealed that the judge had received millions of dollars from the privately owned juvenile detention centers where the kids were incarcerated.

In this documentary, director Robert May exposes the scandal behind the headlines, featuring extensive, exclusive access to the judges behind the scheme. Interestingly, the two judges — Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan — agreed to participate in the making of the film, against the advice of their attorneys, while their case was proceeding. May also makes a point of focusing on the tragedies that occurred with some of the kids sentenced. But his techniques are shaky. He relies too much on talking heads, and intercuts with footage that frequently fails to illuminate or illustrate what the speakers are discussing.

Still, the documentary is a disturbing look at the toll that corrupt justice takes on individuals, families, and society.
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