Prison Time for Caricaturing Vice Principal?

February 13th, 2009 | Posted in News

MSNBC reports about a criminal case in Pennsylvania involving two judges who allegedly accepted over 2.6 million dollars in kickbacks for sentencing minors to dentention/correctional facilities, including a girl who’s crime was creating a parody of her vice principal.

My God. If drawing caricatures of your high school’s authority figures was punishable by jailtime, I’d be in permanent solitary confinement right next to Hannibal Lecter in some dungeon somewhere.

The young lady in the story and video created a parody MySpace page that lampooned her high school’s vice principal. For that she got sentenced to a work camp for several weeks. She is only one of hundreds of kids that these two Pennsylvania judges sentenced to time at two different privately run youth detention centers. Many of these kids apparently were not represented by a lawyer nor told they had the right to one. Their “hearings” often lasted only a minute or two.¬¨‚Ć They were then sent to the youth prisons for minor offenses like “stealing loose change from cars, writing a prank note and possessing drug paraphernalia” and… caricaturing their vice principal. According to the article many of these kids had no prior records or had ever been in trouble before.

All kidding about “getting sent up the river for drawing a caricature” aside, if this doesn’t make you sick to your stomach you are not human. Imagine being a young kid who did something harmless but stupid and found yourself locked up with possibly some real bad apples just so some dirtbag judge could line his pockets.

Hopefully they send these guys to a real prison, tell the other prisoners they were judges who sentenced people to do time in exchange for money, and then wish them a nice day.


  1. Bill says:

    If drawing cartoons of your teachers was illegal, back in the day, I would have been Public Enemy #1!

  2. jimbodraw says:

    Wow – this is crazy – unbelievable.

  3. The part that is even more mind boggling is that they received over 2.6 million dollars in kickbacks. What??? How did the “child care” companies ever make a profit doling out those bribes?? I mean if you going to buy your customers, don’t sacrifice the bottom line. Sheesh!

    • Tom says:

      These privately owned complexes recieved many millions in state and federal dollars based on occupancy… Therefore the more kids they had incarcerated the more funding they received.

  4. Mark Engblom says:

    I still remember getting to do an officially sanctioned caricatured group-shot of every teacher in my junior high school…which hung in the office when it was done! As I recall, some of the shots I took were pretty brutal (hey, I was 14). Geez…times have changed.

  5. MichaelJ says:

    Some people are just so out there.

    They get money for that…they got sent to work camps?!?

    What the heck?

  6. Michael says:

    That’s so ridiculous, lampooning was readily accepted even in era’s with arguably fewer civil liberties than we enjoy today. Now it is viewed as a form of defamation. People need to get over themselves.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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