Superintendent of Cleveland juvenile jail retires after riot
Karmin Bryant retired last week in the wake of a riot inside the jail that caused an estimated $200,000 in damage
By Adam Ferrise
Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland
CLEVELAND — The superintendent of the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center retired last week in the wake of a riot inside the jail that caused an estimated $200,000 in damage.
Karmin Bryant retired Thursday after 32 years with the county. She did not specify why she chose to retire in her letter notifying the court's deputy human resources director and the deputy court administrator.
"I have truly enjoyed working for Cuyahoga County Detention Center, and I sincerely appreciate the support provided to me during my 32.5 years as part of your organizations," Bryant wrote in her two-sentence letter.
A search for her replacement is underway, Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court spokeswoman Mary Davidson said.
Former juvenile detention center superintendent Terrance Jenkins has been named acting superintendent, Davidson said.
Her retirement comes amidst a shake-up at the juvenile detention center. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley called for reforms to be made at the center that is increasingly housing more and more violent offenders.
O'Malley has called for better training, more staffing and, if possible, for the Cuyahoga County Sheriff to take over operations at the juvenile jail. Juvenile court judges currently oversee the juvenile detention center.
Other changes are expected to be made, though county officials have said they have not made any firm decisions.
The jail is built to house 180 inmates, but have staff to cover only about 120. There are typically about 150 to 160 inmates being held in the detention center, either awaiting an initial appearance in front of a judge or waiting out the conclusion of their criminal case.
O'Malley said the jail has become stocked with juveniles accused of violent offenders, such as murders, carjackings and armed robberies, so much so that he said it feels more like a maximum security prison.
The Jan. 8 riot inside one of the housing pods hastened the process that O'Malley said he started weeks prior.
Six teens trashed their housing pod, using tables and other broken pieces of furniture to wreak havoc on the 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 it was an organized riot that started with one of the inmates giving a signal to the 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.
Another picked up shards of glass and threatened to stab Cuyahoga County Sheriff SWAT team members. It took the SWAT team about three hours to calm the riot.
An inmate and a SWAT officer suffered minor injuries during the incident.
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