The whole community benefits when the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court is adequately staffed, managed, and trained according to protocols and best practices. Laborers Local 860 can do this on behalf of the courts, possessing vast experience in serving the public sector, law enforcement and the courts. Laborers Local 860, a landmark of the Cleveland labor force, truly cares about our city, and if allowed to step back in, can bring the manpower and support so desperately needed by a besieged court.
Yet the Juvenile Court won’t return to the bargaining table with Local 860 – despite Judge O’Malley stating in a letter, “When all factors are considered, it becomes readily apparent that the current staffing situation at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center is in a state of crisis.” In the same letter, O’Malley wrote that in the last two years, officials hired 57 officers, but 56 others left during the same time frame. Recruitment cannot keep up with staff attrition in the detention facility.
It’s clear that there is a major problem at the Cuyahoga Community Juvenile Justice Center, and Cleveland’s Local 860 wants to be part of the solution. Laborers Local 860 has the experience at the Juvenile Court to:
- Increase staffing levels to a point where room confinement is not seen as the solution for ensuring safety (half of all suicides of young people in juvenile facilities occur while young people are in room confinement*).
- Improve staff-to-resident ratios.
- Provide innovative scheduling systems to allow adequate staffing without resorting to constant overtime and overwork.
- Improve training opportunities to equip staff with the necessary skills for work in a youth facility.
- Eliminate gaps in leadership and accountability for core operational issues between detention facility administrators and Juvenile Court staff.
- Provide the court with the ability to supervise its youth residents in a safe and humane manner.
- Provide the court with the ability to provide a safe work environment for its detention officers and staff.
* “Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center Conditions Assessment Narrative Report,” The Center for Children’s Law & Policy.