Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center announce changes after recent riot, vandalism

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Changes meant to deter youth riots like the one that occurred in January are being made at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center.

County officials announced the improvements that have been implemented since the vandalism and riots.

Six teens were arrested and charged in connection to the riot that started. Two people were injured during the riot. Damage costs are estimated at approximately $200,000.

Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center retires after riot

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley was in attendance. He previously admitted that the youth detention center is understaffed.

"The detention officers are responsible for the behavior of the kids, just flat out. The kids respond to the interactions they have with the detention officers," said Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Administrative Judge Kristin Sweeney.

She did not mince words when talking about a need for a culture change at the juvenile detention center.

"Management and staff have been reassigned, demoted and disciplined as a result of inadequate job performance," Sweeney said.

Sweeney added through the union, the guards can fight the discipline, so she cannot get into specifics.  She said the detention center has added 10 new guards and is working with Tri-C on a training program for current and future guards.

"Can I say with no hesitation that we will fully fix the issues in the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center? No, I can't.  But we must constantly work toward the goals of making sure every child is safe and their treatment is fair," Sweeney said.

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