The woman held up a photo of one of the wounded animals.

"I notice he didn't shoot his mother or father or whatever he has," she said, and then asked the judge to jail Patrick until his sentencing. "I think that something's missing here. I think a message clearly needs to be sent."

The boy's defense attorney told Kemp, "I don't disagree with anything I just heard. My client's parents are equally horrified by what happened. No one has any explanation."

Patrick's mother, who is a midwife, said quietly that she knows the chances of a child becoming a violent adult are greater when he or she has been cruel to animals.

"But my son is an animal lover," she insisted.

Kemp released Patrick to his parents.

Based on the probation reports and his own observations, the judge did not consider the boy beyond repair.

But he did want to teach him a lesson.

At Patrick's sentencing a few weeks later, Kemp sent the boy to the county's juvenile detention facility for a few days.


Weeks after a difficult case involving 15-year-old Judith, Judge Kemp — who usually comes across as calm and thoughtful in court — vented back in his chambers:

"She runs around with much older men — she's 15 going on 32 — her parents are dysfunctional, there's meth involved, she's been on standard and intensive probation, outpatient, inpatient. She's manipulative to the max. We're going to find her in an alley someday. I don't want send her to Adobe, but that's where she'll be going when all the other options are gone."

Judith then had cases pending in both prongs of the juvenile-justice system, delinquency (criminal) and dependency (protection from parental abuse and neglect).

Kemp earlier had placed the girl on probation after finding her delinquent following a series of misdemeanors — shoplifting, possession of drug paraphernalia, and other non-violent crimes.

But Judith was out of control.

She continued to run away from the foster-care settings where she had been living temporarily, and she often wound up in impossibly dangerous situations, usually with adult males.

Judith had gotten into methamphetamine and was sexually promiscuous before her 13th birthday. It was something of a miracle she was not dead.

Months earlier, state Child Protective Services officials finally removed the girl from her parents' home after finding extensive evidence of abuse and neglect.

It was not that her parents were beating her. But both were drug abusers with serious mental-health issues, and they would not even pretend to embrace so-called "family reunification" programs offered by the child-welfare agency.

The judge already had revoked the girl's probation for various reasons, but where to place her after the delinquency hearing was the nagging question.

Judith was running out of places to stay — short of a locked state juvenile facility — and CPS was not going to allow her to return to her parents anytime soon.

At that hearing, Judith had sat between her parents at the defendant's table, a moping girl with long, dark hair that she kept yanking.

She told the judge, "I'd like to go home. I think I'm well enough. I'm never going to do any of that stuff again."

Her father promised that Judith "is not going to be a problem now. She realizes it ain't a game anymore."

Judith chimed in, "I do. I do."

The judge said, "You've sat there three times already and told me the same thing. The best predictor of future is the past."

Judith said, wailing, "But I promise. I promise."

Kemp told her, "I would be irresponsible if I let you go home today."

Judith's mom sat mutely, a shrunken woman maybe in her early 40s.

But Dad wouldn't give up.

"What will you need to believe that I can control her?" he asked Kemp. "It's 100 percent in my mind that it's all under control."

"It's not going to happen today," Kemp replied, ordering Judith back into lockup at the county detention center until he could figure out what to do.

A follow-up hearing was scheduled. Before it occurred, Judith's father invited New Times to the couple's modest west Phoenix home.

The residence was dark, dank, cluttered, and smelled of urine and rotten food. Judith's mother was in a back room and would not come out.

Her father was beyond irate, claiming the state of Arizona and Judge Kemp were "conspiring" to keep Judith behind bars.

He pulled out a Phoenix police report dated several months earlier that described how his daughter claimed to have been sexually assaulted by two male staffers at a residential-treatment center where she was staying.

County prosecutors had declined to file criminal charges against the men.

He said the treatment center settled the matter out of court for more than $50,000, but he complained that the money would not be available until the girl's 21st birthday, years later.

At that moment, the family's latest CPS caseworker unexpectedly knocked on the door. Grudgingly, Judith's father let her in but blocked her from getting too far into the front room.

The woman asked him how things were going.

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7 comments
friedland_law_center
friedland_law_center

Friedland Law Centeris a setup of trained mitigators work extensively with all major banks to reach resolutions on mortgage modifications and foreclosure matters.i strongly recommend to get their services.

friedland_law_center
friedland_law_center

Friedland Law Centeris a setup of trained mitigators work extensively with all major banks to reach resolutions on mortgage modifications and foreclosure matters.i strongly recommend to get their services.

mara siegel
mara siegel

Paul,

Just reread your article.

The article made me angry( as I am on a daly basis in Juv Ct) that St John's Christian R had to plead guilty yesterday to avoid Andy & Az Draconian Juvie transfer mandates.

A Hobson's choice for a 9 yr incompetent child to make.

I have been clandestinely advising behind as I am aMaricopa County Juv Public Defender, prohibited fr doing Pro Bono work o/side of the office. Call me if interested in case & its national ramifications

Mara Siegel602 320-7691

mara siegel
mara siegel

Paul,

Just reread your article.

The article made me angry( as I am on a daly basis in Juv Ct) that St John's Christian R had to plead guilty yesterday to avoid Andy & Az Draconian Juvie transfer mandates.

A Hobson's choice for a 9 yr incompetent child to make.

I have been clandestinely advising behind as I am aMaricopa County Juv Public Defender, prohibited fr doing Pro Bono work o/side of the office. Call me if interested in case & its national ramifications

Mara Siegel602 320-7691

Juvenile's Rights
Juvenile's Rights

This should give the public an idea of what is going on in the juvenile and family courts:

Editorial: Judges SentencedKids for cash

The setting is Pennsylvania coal country, but it's a story right out of Dickens' grim 19th-century landscape: Two of Luzerne County's most senior judges on Monday were accused of sending children to jail in return for kickbacks.

The judges, Luzerne County President Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., 58, and his predecessor, Senior Judge Michael T. Conahan, 56, will serve seven years in jail under a plea agreement.

They're alleged to have pocketed $2.6 million in payments from juvenile detention center operators.

When a federal judge reviews their plea, though, the question ought to be whether the punishment is adequate - along with the judges being bounced from the bench, disbarred, and losing their pensions.

If the allegations are true, Ciavarella and Conahan were involved in a disgraceful cabal far worse than one that merely lined their pockets.First, the judges helped the detention centers land a county contract worth $58 million. Then their alleged scheme was to guarantee the operators a steady income by detaining juveniles, often on petty stuff.Many of the kids were railroaded, according to allegations lodged with the state Supreme Court last year by the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center, an advocacy group.

In asking the court to intervene in April, the law center cited hundreds of examples where teens accused of minor mischief were pressured to waive their right to lawyers, and then shipped to a detention center.One teen was given a 90-day sentence for having parodied a school administrator online. Such unwarranted detentions left "both children and parents feeling bewildered, violated and traumatized," center lawyers said.

"Very few people would stand up" to the Luzerne judges, according to the law center's executive director, Robert G. Schwartz.Fortunately, Juvenile Law Center was willing to do so, along with backing from state Attorney General Tom Corbett's office and the state Department of Public Welfare.

The blind justices on the state's high court, though, took a pass. Only last month, they offered no explanation in declining to take up the law center's request that the court step up.

Now, the state Supreme Court should revisit the issue, since the scope of corruption alleged at the Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre could further undermine confidence in the courts statewide.Authorities need to redress running roughshod over juveniles' rights - a process also likely to bring damage suits. While the local district attorney pledges to "do our best to right the situation," this calls for an independent, outside review.

The two judges' downfall may have rooted out the worst perpetrators of this evil scheme, but the abuse of power alleged in Luzerne County is so startling that it should send shock waves for reform around the state court system.

Andrew
Andrew

Just read the story; throughout I wondered "what did my parents do that these 'parents' didn't". I am not a parent myself, but it is obvious that my parents parented. They encouraged me in my education, went to PTA meetings and other such parent-teacher meetings, helped me schoolwork, got me educational material no matter what the cost (including a computer system, back in 1984, which led to me being a software developer and robotics enthusiast today). My dad has since passed away, and my wife and I take care of mother at our home now (dementia is a helluva thing). Parents need to take care of their kids, so that one day, hopefully, the kids can take care of their parents.

 
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