NEPA Scene Staff

‘Kids for Cash’ documentary screens at the United Nations, receives Oscar buzz

‘Kids for Cash’ documentary screens at the United Nations, receives Oscar buzz
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From a press release:

The critically acclaimed documentary “Kids for Cash,” detailing the infamous judicial scandal that rocked Luzerne County and Northeastern Pennsylvania, is set to screen at the United Nations today, the eve of the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Just named by Variety as an Oscar contender, “Kids for Cash” is a riveting look behind the notorious scandal that affected the entire country, but it reveals far more than corruption and greed. The film exposes what many refer to as a “secretive American institution” where kids all across the United States are caught up in society’s zeal for zero tolerance in a post-Columbine world.

The film opens with this statement:

“The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care … mankind owes to the child the best it has to give.”

All 193 United Nation countries have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child… except Somalia, South Sudan, and the United States. As the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child approaches on Nov. 20, the movie asks: “Is the U.S. a better place for kids?”

“Kids for Cash” recently screened for Members of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Dept. of Justice, U.S. Dept. of Education, Capitol Hill Staff, and for select members of the White House.

Exposing the hidden scandal behind the headlines, the film, directed by Dallas resident Robert May, unfolds like a real-life thriller. A small-town Pennsylvania judge is hellbent on keeping kids in line until one parent dares to question his harsh brand of justice. Under his reign, over 3,000 children were removed from their families and imprisoned for years for crimes as petty as creating a fake MySpace page. Beyond the revelation that the judge received millions of dollars in payments from the privately-owned detention center where the kids were incarcerated lies a shocking American secret.

Charting the previously untold stories of the masterminds at the center of the scandal, the story is told through the perspectives of the villains, the victims, and the unsung heroes who helped uncover the scandal. In a major dramatic coup, the documentary features extensive, exclusive access to the former judges behind the scheme, Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan, speaking on camera without their lawyer’s knowledge.