New CLE approach to booking juvenile offenders

Posted at 11:00 AM, Dec 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-16 17:35:52-05

Juvenile offenders brought to the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center will no longer be booked alongside the ranks of "Cleveland's most violent adult offenders," county officials announced Wednesday. 

The initiative is a major restructuring of how juvenile offenders from the city are processed and booked after an arrest.

Instead of being transferred to a district police station, to the Justice Center and then to the Juvenile Justice Center, the county is launching a central booking center at the juvenile facility itself.  

"They might not be in the same cell, but Ariel Castro could be walking down the hallway while they’re sitting in a room by themselves," Duane Deskins, Director of Juvenile Crime Prevention, told 

Deskins said the common booking area with "rapists, murderers and pedophiles" was not appropriate for Cleveland's young offenders, no matter how serious their crime. 

He said the reform will affect about 1,100 young people in the city of Cleveland. 

Representatives from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas' Juvenile Division said the new approach would also reduce the time a juvenile is held in custody, eliminate unnecessary transportation by law enforcement and allow officers to return to duty faster. 

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timonty McGinty told that the reformed process will help Cleveland's war against gang violence by segregating juvenile offenders who will no longer be influenced by adult gang members in a common booking area.

"Our adult jails are colleges of crime," McGinty told 

“These reforms again show what we can do to make the Criminal Justice System more efficient and effective when we are all willing to work together,” McGinty said. 

Starting Wednesday, the county juvenile detention center will book juvenile offenders from Cleveland's second and fourth police districts.  

The county reported by early 2016, Cleveland officials expect all juvenile offenders from Cleveland police districts to be taken directly to the modern detention center for booking and evaluation. They will be detained and then taken home. 


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