CLEVELAND (WJW) — Video released to the FOX 8 I-TEAM shows teens going wild and causing alarm even while locked up.
And, it shows why officials admit they’re losing control of kids considered too dangerous to walk your streets.
We obtained security video of two uprisings in recent weeks inside the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center.
In one case, you see furniture flying. Chairs and more tossed all around. You also see kids climbing where they shouldn’t go. And, you see guards struggling to take control.
In another case, you see teens enter a room, and then turn violent. Fighting other juveniles and fighting with guards. In both cases, reports refer to a “riot.”
Just last week, juvenile court leaders went before Cuyahoga County Council begging for help.
Magistrate Mark Stanton said, “The Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center is an authentic tinderbox.”
The detention center holds teens accused of murder and more. The worst of the worst of juvenile suspects. Now, the court says it’s too short-staffed to keep this place calm.
“There’s just an insufficient number of detention officers to maintain the safety in that facility.
We don’t have near the number of requisite detention officers to handle these kids,” the magistrate added.
In July, police arrested 12 juveniles for beating an innocent man. One teen involved is also suspected of murder. The court tells us that kid also took part in one of the recent uprisings while locked up.
The court says the detention center is overcrowded with guards forced to work overtime.
We looked through reports on those two recent incidents with big groups of teens. One notes “residents out of control.” Another, “extreme physical aggressiveness.” And another, a “planned group assault.”
Even two years ago workers spoke out to the I-Team. One said, “It’s very dangerous to be working there.”
County Council Public Safety Chairman Michael Gallagher told the court, “We’re going to take this request seriously.”
He promised to try to get help for the detention center.
And, the office of County Executive Chris Ronayne issued a statement, saying, “The Cuyahoga County Executive’s Office is aware of concerns raised by staff and administration of the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court. We are in conversation with the Juvenile Court administration regarding staffing within the facility.”
Not clear, yet, how long it might take to get help there. A new county budget process is just getting underway.