Kids for Cash

  • Studio:
  • Release Date: Feb 7, 2014
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Feb 27, 2014
    60
    It’s worth seeing Robert May’s vital judicial expose — not only to learn about the titular scandal, but also to appreciate both the highs and lows of human resilience.
  2. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Feb 25, 2014
    60
    May’s biggest get, however, is Ciavarella himself—a man forever rationalizing his shady actions, who emerges as a more complexly tragic figure than you’d think possible.
User Score
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No user score yet- Awaiting 3 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 30, 2016
    8
    It is one of the most disturbing stories of just how greedy and corrupt people can truly be. In 2000, Luzerne County Pennsylvania needed a newIt is one of the most disturbing stories of just how greedy and corrupt people can truly be. In 2000, Luzerne County Pennsylvania needed a new Juvenile detention facility, but couldn't afford it, so they privatized it. Leading the group that won the contract, were two of their own Juvenile court judges. That alone was a grey area, but not the issue. Soon, the judges learned that the more occupants the jail had, the more money the facility would receive from the state. So, despite the law, which requires juvenile offenders to be sentenced to the least restrictive environment possible, kids as young as thirteen, with no previous record, were being sent to JV for very minor offenses. As a result, the facility was receiving millions from the states, which the judges were embezzling. As the scandal unfolded, this documentary was filmed and shockingly, both judges agreed to be a part of it, claiming they were always tough on juvenile crime and had done nothing wrong. Judges never comment on cases and defendants are always advised not to talk to the media, but for some reason these judges did, and the way they justify their actions is truly sickening. There is even one scene where a mother confronts one of the judges outside of court house, holding a picture. She says to him, this is my son, he was fifteen when you put him in jail for drinking some beers and fighting with other teens. He served three years and within six months of being released he killed himself, and that's your fault. The judge could care less, it was truly amazing. The documentary is an eye opener and it follows the scandal through the family and offenders stories, through the investigation, right up through the trial and outcome, it really something to see. The whole thing really makes me wonder, if judges can be swayed that easily, just how corrupt is this country and how many truly innocent people are there sitting in jail or on a list somewhere, all because someone was paid to put them there? Full Review »