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Pa. Senate Passes Juvenile Court Reforms In Response To ‘Kids For Cash’ Scandal

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(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – A package of bills resulting from a scandal involving juvenile courts in Luzerne County has passed the Pennsylvania Senate.

It was dubbed the “Kids For Cash” scandal: two Luzerne County judges accused of imposing harsh sentences on juveniles, who appeared in court without representation, in return for cash payoffs from the detention centers where the youngsters were assigned.

Suburban Philadelphia Republican Stewart Greenleaf, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says the scandal was a blemish on Pennsylvania’s otherwise respected juvenile justice system, “Pennsylvania, nationally, has been known as one of the best juvenile justice systems in the nation. And this aberration that has occurred is being addressed.”

It’s being addressed by a series of bills passed by the Senate that will, among other things, prohibit the waiving of counsel in juvenile justice hearings. The bills go the state House for consideration.

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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