CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty says eight of the most violent prisoners have been moved from the Juvenile Justice Center to the Cuyahoga County Jail and a ninth prisoner's transfer is pending.
This move comes after the center has had increasing incidents of violence. The center opened in late 2011 and the Quincy Avenue facility has seen an escalation in violence.
The problems increased following a new state law that requires the center to hold adults accused of committing serious crimes when they were juveniles. Prosecutor's office spokesman Joe Frolik adds that the prosecutor's office has "...now started using a provision in that state law that does allow for a hearing to determine if one of these older, violent inmates should be held at an adult facility."
Frolik said Cuyahoga County Council is being asked to provide more security for the center.
"Our office – led by Duane Deskins, the new juvenile justice chief -– has been working with the court to improve safety..." Frolik said.
In a statement released Tuesday, McGinty said:
Eight of the most violent prisoners at the Juvenile Justice Center have now completed a required judicial review and been transferred to the County Jail. A ninth case is pending.
For these individuals, who have already been bound over and will be tried as adults on felony charges by the General Division of the Common Pleas Court, the County Jail is a far more appropriate and secure setting. Moving them out of the Juvenile Justice Center will make that facility safer for both those who work there and the other children who are being detained there.
Moving forward, we will continue to pursue similar legal steps against other older, violent prisoners and those who attack other children or staff members.
In addition, we are working with Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Administrative Judge Kristin W. Sweeney to provide additional training for staff and to monitor violence within the detention center. We also join with the court in urging County Council to add security personnel at the Juvenile Justice Center.