Previously aired video shows recent violent outbreaks at a local detention center
CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has found a local detention center manager fired in the midst of an investigation into explicit photos on an electronic device at the juvenile lock-up.
Records released by Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court show Jerome Watkins terminated from the county detention center. The termination letter is dated March 23.
This comes to light after the I-Team found the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department is investigating photos of an “underage, unidentified female.”
The county says the investigation is ongoing and officials have not said how the photos ended up on the device, who the female is or the circumstances involved.
Just last week, the I-Team reported a worker had been fired at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center after being accused of staging fights between inmates. Records provided by juvenile court show detention officer Trent Dunning was fired. Incident reports provided by the court show Dunning was accused of “staging fights” between juveniles. And, he “forced multiple youth to fight.”
Also, in recent months, the I-Team has revealed multiple large outbreaks of violence in the Detention Center.
Recently, the I-Team revealed exclusive video of yet another riot breaking out inside the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center.
That incident happened last month.
But, the I-Team has exposed big trouble there again and again.
Security video shows, in the latest case, a teacher walked through a door into a room and young inmates followed.
Then, violence exploded.
Those kids walking in, fought with other inmates.
We showed the video to a man working to get detention officers represented by a union.
Colin Sikon called it, “Absolute havoc.”
He said, “I think they need some kind of outside entity with checks and balances. They’ve been doing it on their own, so far, and it’s been a disaster.”
Back in December, we revealed teens in that same detention center going wild.
Weeks before that, a juvenile inmate took an office worker hostage.
Before that, a detention center manager got fired for throwing punches at a teen using handcuffs like brass knuckles.
And, in another case, more teens went on a rampage causing $20,000 damage.
This time, a report says guards tried to take control, and a teen yelled, “Let’s do whatever! Let’s do this!”
Not long ago, even the parent of a teen inmate spoke out to the I-Team.
She said, “Find better ways to secure these kids’ safety. And, then, it just keeps being these issues there.”
For the latest violence, Cuyahoga County prosecutors just filed felony charges against seven teens.
Still, we have questions about what’s being done to prevent the kind of trouble that keeps happening.
But, the administrative judge for juvenile court repeatedly has not answered questions for us.
Detention officers have complained of short-staffing and a lack of training to deal with what’s happening.
We also showed the new video last week to defense attorney Henry Hilow as he walked into juvenile court.
He said, “Should be a priority for the county. If they don’t provide the resources, somebody’s gonna get hurt.”
The I-Team will watch for what comes out of the current investigation involving the photos.