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Kids for Cash (2013)

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Kids For Cash is a riveting look behind the notorious judicial scandal that rocked the nation. Beyond the millions paid and high stakes corruption, Kids For Cash exposes a shocking American... See full summary »


Robert May


Robert May



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlie Balasavage Charlie Balasavage ... Himself
Joanne Balasavage Joanne Balasavage ... Herself - Charlie Balasavage's Mother
Justin Bodnar Justin Bodnar ... Himself
Lisa Griffiths Lisa Griffiths ... Herself - Justin Bodnar's Mother
Sandy Fonzo Sandy Fonzo ... Herself - Edward Kenzakoski's Mother
Amanda Lorah Amanda Lorah ... Herself
Terry Lorah Terry Lorah ... Himself - Amanda Lorah's Father
Terrie Morgan-Besecker Terrie Morgan-Besecker ... Herself - Journalist, The Times Leader
Hillary Transue Hillary Transue ... Herself
Laurene Transue Laurene Transue ... Herself - Hillary Transue's Mother
Marsha Levick Marsha Levick ... Herself - Deputy Director and Chief Counsel of Juvenile Law Center
Robert G. Schwartz Robert G. Schwartz ... Himself - Executive Director, Juvenile Law Center (as Bob Schwartz)
Mark Arthur Ciavarella Mark Arthur Ciavarella ... Himself - Convicted Former Judge (as Mark Ciavarella)
Michael Conahan Michael Conahan ... Himself - Convicted Former Judge
Steve Corbett Steve Corbett ... Himself - Radio Host, WILK-FM


Kids For Cash is a riveting look behind the notorious judicial scandal that rocked the nation. Beyond the millions paid and high stakes corruption, Kids For Cash exposes a shocking American secret. In the wake of the shootings at Columbine, a small town celebrates a charismatic judge who is hell-bent on keeping kids in line...until one parent dares to question the motives behind his brand of justice. This real life thriller reveals the untold stories of the masterminds at the center of the scandal and the chilling aftermath of lives destroyed in the process - a stunning emotional roller coaster. Written by Kids for Cash

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic material and language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site | See more »





Release Date:

1 August 2015 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Zero Tolerance See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,639, 7 February 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$91,512, 28 February 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

SenArt Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


"The US incarcerates nearly 5 times more children than any other nation in the world." See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting take on an outrageous juvenile judicial scandal
7 February 2015 | by eurogradSee all my reviews

Kids for Cash is a neat documentary covering the unfolding of the "Kids for Cash" scandal in Luzern country, PA, where two judges sent more than two thousand children to a juvenile detention center while getting paybacks from the private operation of the same facility.

The filmmakers had personal access to both accused judges, who gave lengthy interviews on camera. However, the producers didn't let that fact cloud their views on the whole affair as it is common in such productions. Instead, we have several interviews with young victims of the scheme and their parents.

What is not so good about the movie are is the parallelism of the stories of victims they follow. The cut points on the narratives look hastily put together instead of carefully chosen to permeate the viewer to the individuality and commonality of each story.

At the end, viewers are left with the impression of two corrupt men who genuinely think they weren't doing anything wrong other than some minor procedural violations. Although not the main theme of the documentary, one is left to wonder how horrendously normalized it had become to just take "bad kids" away from school and send them to correctional facilities.

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