Today, many of the prisons in the US are corporate, for-profit operations.
In Kids for Cash, Pennsylvania judges took millions in bribes from prison owners, and in return imprisoned kids, to keep the juvenile halls full.
Imprisoning kids is much more profitable than imprisoning adults. For a juvenile, the prison owner can get a much as $150,000 per kid per year. For adult, up to $50,000 per year (plus the income, derived from forcing adults to work for corporations).
As noted in the piece below, the trial of the corrupt Pennsylvania judges is dragging for years. Past experience shows that such cases may eventually be dismissed, when public attention is lost.