- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

One of the worst judicial scandals in U.S. history has already spawned a documentary. Up next: reality TV.

Now in production, “Kids for Cash: The Reality” stars two brothers sent to juvenile detention by a corrupt judge in northeastern Pennsylvania, director Lorena Beniquez said Friday.

The show follows Nikita and Dana Shumway, who found themselves subject to Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella’s harsh brand of justice when they were teens. Nikita was locked up for two years for breaking curfew, underage drinking and violating probation, while Dana spent three years in detention for joyriding and underage drinking, said Beniquez, an advertising and public relations veteran who happens to be the brothers’ half-sister.

The Shumways were among thousands of kids locked up by Ciavarella - many of them for minor infractions - while he was taking cash from the owner and builder of a pair of for-profit youth detention centers. Ciavarella and another judge are serving lengthy prison terms.

Now in their 20s, Nikita is a visual artist while Dana plans to study criminal justice administration.

Production began last year, with scenes shot in the Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport areas. Beniquez said she’s not yet shopped it around.

The show follows a well-received film documentary on the scandal, called “Kids for Cash,” that opened in theaters Friday.


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