(PHILADELPHIA) -- A former Pennsylvania judge got a taste of his own medicine Thursday when he was sentenced to 28 years in prison for a scheme involving taking kickbacks from a for-profit detention center, where he routinely sent youngsters whether they deserved to go or not.
Mark Ciavarella, who presided over the court in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, was found guilty earlier this year of twelve counts of racketeering, conspiracy, fraud and filing false tax returns -- all in connection with a scheme in which he received nearly $1 million in payments.
According to prosecutors, Ciavarella and another judge who already pleaded guilty in the case used their influence to shut down the public juvenile center and then helped a developer and builder set up a for-profit facility.
Prosecutor Gordon Zubrod accused Ciavarella of selling kids wholesale and said he deserved to be sentenced "for the rest of his natural life" for keeping the detention center packed with teens and pre-teens who didn't deserve their punishments, which sometimes lasted three or four years.
Ciavarella's attorney argued the sentence was too harsh and at 61, the ex-judge will likely die in prison.
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