Judicial kickback scheme | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Judicial kickback scheme

Posted By on Sat, Mar 28, 2009 at 6:57 AM

Here's a detailed account of the extraordinarily corrupt Pennsylvania judges who took kickbacks to send juveniles to a private detention facility.

The article touches on the fact -- relevant to Arkansas -- that there's often a lack of oversight in juvenile proceedings nationwide. Undue influence can lead to placements that aren't warranted in institutions with sufficient clout to be beyond the reach of oversight. Kids are sometimes also at the whim of judges who, if not corrupt, operate outside the law on account of poor judgment and other motivation (religious inspiration in one notable local case).

In the end, thanks to availability of government reimbursement, many places, including Arkansas, commit far too many children to residential treatment they don't need at too great a cost to taxpayers. It may not always be a crime, as it was in Pennsylvania, but it needs study. Gov. Mike Beebe has talked about this, but it appears another legislative session will pass without advancement of a mental health reform agenda.

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