Monday, March 7, 2011

The Taj Mahal of Juvenile Detention Centers. Cuyahoga County's Crown Jewel

If you are a juvenile delinquent in Ohio's Cuyahoga County, congratulations!  Crime does pay.  Tell them what they've won Don Pardo. Your petty crime has just bought you a stay at the elegant new $189 million dollar Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center. The 630,000 square foot "palace" has 32 courtrooms for 6 judges, a retired judge and approximately 21 magistrates.  Although the court has had only one jury trial in the past five years, three of the courtrooms have jury boxes and deliberation space. Launched in 2000 as a $50 million dollar detention center, costs skyrocketed because of some necessities like a $23,000 custom made conference table, $21,488 for exercise equipment in the judge's private gym, $1200 chairs, $12,000 in artwork and an $8000 blue tile waterfall.   The magistrate's lounge gets a Viking refrigerator.  There are thirty one $120 coffee makers, expresso machines,  $600 telephone stands, and twenty four $975 plasma and LCD televisions. Judge's chambers have private bathrooms, refrigerators and hot tubs filled with the tears of taxpayers. (I may be wrong on that last one)  See pictures at the Plain Dealer.  In the county's defense, they were told that they actually saved money because acoustic ceiling tiles and long lasting commercial wallpaper were used in the project.

Please Sir, May I Have Some More?
OK, so maybe the kids didn't really win anything.  These amenities go to the judges.   The waterfall is on the second floor.  The first floor is the detention center which can house up to 210 scamps.  Most of them stay no longer than two weeks.  Apparently they ran out of marble for the kids. A cinderblock hallway leads to a life skills kitchen, two gyms, and a baby changing station.

If movies have taught me anything, juvenile detention centers are supposed to be dark, dank and dingy.  They should be places that have bars on the windows and serve gruel for dinner. I seem to remember seeing a nice one right outside the old Yankee Stadium. The kids inside could leer out between the bars as other kids walked past to catch a baseball game.  In my opinion, taxpayers money could have been better spent.  The Cleveland Indians could use some better pitching.  Bring back Ricky "Wild Thing"  Vaughn.  I hear he is available.  Don't worry about his age.  He has tiger blood.  

1 comment:

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