Officials to announce reforms to Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center

April 4, 2018

Officials to announce reforms to Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court’s chief judge on Wednesday is expected to unveil reforms put in place following a January riot at the juvenile detention center.

Administrative Judge Kristin Sweeney is expected to make the announcement at a 10 a.m. news conference at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center. Court Administrator Tess Neff, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley and other officials are expected to join her.

Cleveland.com will stream the conference on Facebook Live.

The news conference comes one week after juvenile court officials visited the Montgomery County Juvenile Court’s Intervention Center in Dayton. O’Malley’s office has pointed to the Intervention Center’s practice of trying to match teenagers accused of a crime with specialized services within hours of their arrest, rather than after the case is over, as a potential model for overhauling the system here.

The Cuyahoga County detention center’s superintendent retired in the weeks after the riot, which officials say has cost the county about $100,000 to repair damages.

Six teens used tables and other broken pieces of furniture to trash a housing pod. They smashed security glass, a window, cell doors, sprinklers, parts of the ceiling, showers, toilets, light fixtures, and a television, officials said.

O’Malley said it appeared to be an organized riot that started with one inmate giving a signal to others. Three inmates smashed a window and tried to jump out on to East 93rd Street, but were unable to get out, O’Malley said.

To comment on this story, visit Wednesday’s crime and courts comments page.