Friday, March 13, 2009

Initial Recommendations Reportedly Made In Luzerne County Juvenile Court Case Review

According to Michael Rubinkam of the Associated Press,(someone who I met personally) Berks County Senior Judge Arthur Grim assigned to review the juvenile court cases in Luzerne County has submitted his recommendations to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The high court appointed Grim last month to review thousands of juvenile cases handled by Luzerne County President Judge Mark Ciavarella dating back to 2003.

Grim's preliminary review included cases of low-level offenders who appeared in Ciavarella's courtroom without lawyers. He declined to say what he recommended, but said he believed the first batch of cases numbered in the hundreds.

Grim, who is chairman of the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges' Commission, which establishes standards for the administration of juvenile justice in the state, said he was appalled by the conduct of Ciavarella and Conahan.

"When you work in a system that's generally acknowledged to be among the very best juvenile court systems in the United States, it's particularly upsetting to see a situation where it appears as though the rationale for the juvenile court system has been lost along the way," he said.

"The goal of this court is to determine whether the alleged travesty of juvenile justice occurred, and if it did, to identify the affected juveniles and rectify the situation as fairly and swiftly as possible," the justices said in a statement last month.

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