Juvenile detention center manager disciplined after using handcuffs as ‘brass knuckles’

Handcuffs used as makeshift brass knuckles are yet another sign of the chaos brewing at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center.

Last Sept. 8, the FOX 8 I-Team uncovered a video that shows a detention center manager throwing punches on a troubled teen resident, placing “handcuffs around his hand as makeshift brass knuckles and (punching) him four to five times,” according to a report.

The detention center manager has been placed on leave and faces both internal and criminal investigations.

A prevalence of violence caused by short staffing

It’s just one incident of violence among many that have happened in recent months at the county’s juvenile detention center. 

Ever since Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court officials walked away from the bargaining table with Laborers Local 860 ceased to recognize the union, problems at the center have escalated. It’s been a powder keg ready to blow.

In August, several teens started a small riot over lockdown frustration caused by a lack of support staff, resulting in over $20,000 in damage.

“A sheriff’s report revealed that trouble broke out on a night with the detention center incredibly short-staffed,” Fox News reported. “That report revealed just nine detention officers were working when full staff would be 22.”

Strangely, there’s no security video of the incident.

Fox News reports:

“We should be able to show you what happened inside the detention center as the teens went wild, but a month after the incident, the county says it has no security video.

“The I-Team asked why, but no one at the county seems to know. Investigators are now also looking into that.”

We must protect our children

The recent chaos at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center is no mystery. For years, our union has been warning the administration that low staffing levels and a lack of sufficient training would lead to more violence.

Sadly, it’s the center’s residents who bear the brunt of the administration’s mismanagement.

It’s pretty simple. When you take care of the staff with proper union representation, pay them adequate wages and give them the tools and training they need to do their jobs, they’ll succeed. 

For the safety of everyone involved, court officials must return to the negotiation table and come to a proper agreement with proper union representation for the court employees. 

Sign the petition found at the bottom of our homepage. Tell the Court union representation is the proper course of action, along with better staffing and employee training to keep our children safe.