The funds come from real estate developer Robert Mericle, who built two for-profit youth detention facilities that replaced the Luzerne County detention center. Two judges accepted more than $2 million in payments from Mericle and regularly jailed teens at the facilities. Most young people will get $500 to $5,000; parents will be reimbursed for court costs and fines ordered by the now-disgraced judges.
A federal judge approved a settlement that will pay nearly $18 million to juveniles who allege they were wrongly incarcerated by corrupt judges in Luzerne County, Pa., the Associated Press reports. The approval by U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo in Scranton allows attorneys to begin distributing money to about 1,600 teens and parents caught up in the so-called kids-for-cash scandal.