Conferences & Events

Join us: Chicago Pre-Release Screening & Discussion of New Documentary ‘Kids for Cash’

KidsforCashThe Adler School Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice will host Chicago’s only pre-release screening of a new documentary on a Pennsylvania judicial and juvenile justice scandal—and will moderate a panel discussion with the film’s director and Illinois experts discussing juvenile justice reform in Illinois and throughout the country.

The special screening of “Kids for Cash” takes place is Thursday, Dec. 12, at Chicago’s ShowPlace ICON Theatre, 1011 South Delano Court East.  A reception begins at 4:30 p.m., followed by the film at 5 p.m.  Admission is free with RSVP but seats are limited. Get details and RSVP.

Hosted by the Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice, and sponsored by Active Voice, SenArt Films and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Chicago screening is one of only eight across the country prior to the film’s February release in theaters.

“Kids for Cash” chronicles a Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, community and its support for a popular “zero-tolerance” judge who imprisoned juveniles for minor offenses—until a parent’s questions led to the uncovering of a scheme that sent teenagers to juvenile detention in exchange for millions of dollars.

After the Chicago screening, director and producer Robert May joins Marsha Levick, Deputy Director and Chief Counsel of the Juvenile Law Center, on a panel to discuss the film as well as state-based juvenile justice reform and advocacy in Illinois and throughout the country.

Moderated by Elena Quintana, Ph.D., executive director of the Adler School Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice, the panel will also feature:

  • Julie Biehl, Director, Children and Family Justice Center at Bluhm Legal Clinic, Northwestern Law School;
  • Amanda Klonsky, Student Transition Coordinator, Office of Education Options, Chicago Public Schools; and
  • Angela Sedeno, Family Services Program Director, Isaac Ray Center, the nation’s largest non-profit provider of mental health services for the juvenile justice system.

The panelists will examine key issues raised by the documentary and the Pennsylvania case including youths’ right to counsel, the life-altering consequences of a juvenile record, the problems with “zero-tolerance” discipline policies, trauma to youth and their families, financial costs to families and taxpayers, and overuse of the juvenile justice system.

Elena Quintana, Ph.D.

Elena Quintana, Ph.D.

Quintana, a community/clinical psychologist consulted throughout Chicago and nationally for her work with juvenile justice, trauma-informed care, and socially just violence prevention, said, “We as a country continue to bring hundreds of thousands of youth into the juvenile justice system for minor offenses—even though arresting, detaining, and incarcerating youth is expensive, ineffective, causes everlasting damage to children and their families and has little impact on public safety.

“Beyond the millions paid and the high stakes corruption it exposes, ‘Kids for Cash’ highlights the need for system reform and continued community engagement.”

The special screening of “Kids for Cash” takes place is Thursday, Dec. 12, at Chicago’s ShowPlace ICON Theatre, 1011 South Delano Court East.  A reception begins at 4:30 p.m., followed by the film at 5 p.m.  Admission is free with RSVP but seats are limited. Get details and RSVP.