Kids for Cash– the Movie, now on Netflix

The Link:

Other places to see Kids for Cash

About The Film

KIDS FOR CASH is a riveting look behind the notorious scandal that rocked the nation when it first came to light in 2009. Beginning in the wake of the shootings at Columbine, a small town in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania elected a charismatic judge who was hell-bent on keeping kids in line. Under his reign, over 3,000 children were ripped from their families and imprisoned for years for crimes as petty as creating a fake MySpace page. When one parent dared to question this harsh brand of justice, it was revealed that the judge had received millions of dollars in payments from the privately-owned juvenile detention centers where the kids—most of them only in their early teens—were incarcerated.

Exposing the hidden scandal behind the headlines, KIDS FOR CASH unfolds like a real-life thriller. Charting the previously untold stories of the masterminds at the center of the scandal, the film reveals a shocking American secret told from the perspectives of the villains, the victims and the unsung heroes who helped uncover the scandal. In a major dramatic coup, the film features extensive, exclusive access to the judges behind the scheme. Now serving a 28 year sentence in federal prison, the former juvenile court judge at the heart of the scandal shares his ulterior motives, revealing that his attorneys never knew about his interviews for this film.



Kid’s Stories:


A loveable kid who had very few material things but loved to go camping with his family and help his dad work on cars. He looked forward to his first day of school but an undiagnosed speech impediment brought unwanted teasing from the other kids. Charlie came to dread school and struggled for years. One day his parents surprised him with a used red scooter. Charlie, now 14, took great care of the scooter and rode it every day.

One day, the police came to Charlie’s door. He immediately thought he was getting into trouble for riding it without a helmet, but soon found out that the scooter had been stolen. His parents unknowingly bought the stolen scooter from a family member. The police arrested Charlie and his parents but eventually dropped the charges against his mom and dad, Charlie however was arrested as a juvenile and sent away.

Charlie did not cope well within the Juvenile system and once in, he moved from one correction center to another. In all toll, Charlie spent 5 years in the system and was subjected to 8 placements, yet his love of poetry and family kept him optimistic about his future, which he felt, was bright. He looked forward to college and working with computers. But, confinement within the juvenile system did not prepare Charlie for the real world.

Now, at 21 years old, Charlie’s still that same lovable kid who remains optimistic despite the increasing odds against him in a world that will likely deal him more blows.


A smart, funny and creative high school student who grew up in a stable home with both parents. She created a MySpace page lampoon of her assistant high school principal, including a disclaimer on the page stating it was a joke.

But one day, Hillary’s mother received a call from the police letting her know that her daughter was about to be arrested and charged with terroristic threats. Finding the lampoon anything but funny, the assistant principal felt this was no simple school matter. At 14 years old, Hillary found herself convicted and sentenced to juvenile detention.

If not for her mother Laurene’s outreach to a national advocacy group called Juvenile Law Center, Hillary could have spent months or years in the system. Instead, her mom sparked an investigation by the group, placing Hillary’s case at the forefront of the “cash for kids” scandal. Hillary was freed after only 3 weeks and went on to graduate from both high school and college. She was the lucky one.

More stories are available at the website:

And you  know it is only a matter of time that a book and movie comes out about Sykes, Gore, Wyman (he already has one book), Tyler, Spera–and all the other horrible stories of probate court–stories the ARDC did noting about.


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