A Clue To Michael Moore’s Next Doc?

A film crew for controversial documentarian Michael Moore was in Wilkes-Barre, PA last week, conducting interviews for what is presumed to be his upcoming, untitled documentary. The crew were interviewing people who were involved in the recent Luzerne County Courthouse scandal involving county judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. accepting $2.6 million from two privately owned juvenile detention centers in exchange for helping secure county contracts worth $30 million.

Moore was not present during the shooting.

Up until now, all we knew about Moore’s film was that it was to be “a look at the global financial crisis and the U.S. economy during the transition between the incoming Obama Administration and the outgoing Bush Administration,” as its IMDb logline puts it.

It is understandable that the scandal, which made national news when it broke earlier this year, is something that Moore would be interested. Private prisons have certainly been a growing business over the last ten years, thanks in part to the ongoing Republican drive to pare down the size of government, outsourcing certain services to the private sector.

Ciaveralla and another Luzerne County judge, Michael Conahan, are currently awaiting trial on charges that they convicted hundreds of juvenile defendants and sentencing them to privately run detention facilities in exchange for kickbacks. The two are currently facing up to seven years in prison, while a class action law suit is being organized on behalf of the children falsely convicted.

Privately run prisons have come under fire in recent years over their treatment of prisoners. One such company, the Geo Group, has come under fire for inmate deaths at several of its facilities.

Thanks to FBOL contributor John Gibbon for the tip on this story.

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About Rich Drees 7195 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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April 30, 2009 10:22 am

A “SINGLE VOICE PROJECT” is the official name of the petition sponsored by: The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) THIS PETITION SEEKS TO ABOLISH ALL PRIVATE PRISONS IN THE UNITED STATES, (or any place subject to its jurisdiction) The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) is a grass roots organization driven by a single objective. We want the United States government to reclaim sole authority for state and federal prisons on US soil. We want the United States Congress to immediately rescind all state and federal contracts that permit private prisons “for profit”… Read more »

David Cardinal
David Cardinal
May 1, 2009 2:10 pm

The ignorance displayed by William Thomas saddens me. Each and every person in a prison system, public or private, is there for profit, except maybe the pastor who just wants to see people get their lives straightened out. They would not work if they would not profit. Part of that profit may be seeing a student graduate with a GED, or complete their sentence and go back to their family a changed person. But in the end, the workers work because they get paid to do so. The workers in the government run prison systems are in it for the… Read more »

May 5, 2009 3:32 pm

William Thomas was speaking on behalf of a GROUP, The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP), and not just as an individual. I take from your comments, David Cardinal, that you are also speaking for a group – the for-profit prison industry – although you don’t come out and say that (which is fairly typical for corporate disinformation spread on the Internet). Also, your comment: “The bitterness of tone in your writing, William, makes it obvious that you are clouded by a passion for what you believe with blatant disregard for the facts.” Is more easily applied… Read more »