Polk County, Florida - Repairs are underway at the Avon Park Youth Academy. Debris has been swept up and hauled away. But as Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters toured the campus, there were still signs of Saturday's vandalism.
Several buildings sported the jagged edges of broken windows and inside furniture was overturned.
"We're very upset this incident occurred," Walters as she walked from building to building. "We're going to get a briefing from the Sheriff's Office, because there are a lot of questions that we have."
The incident started out as just a fight after a basketball game, and then escalated. Photographs show the results of residents trashing the place. One of the buildings hardest hit was the medical unit, where kids spread red fake blood on the floor and walls.
PHOTOS: Nearly 50 photos show full damage from riot
Frantic 911 calls indicate that staff members were overwhelmed. The facility is operated for the state by a private company called G4S.
On Monday, Polk Sheriff Grady Judd criticized a DJJ rule that bans facility staff from having pepper spray and tasers at their disposal. He says just having those tools could have kept things in check.
However today, Walters stood by that rule as an "industry standard" when it comes to juveniles, but she had few options to offer staff when asked what the industry standard would be to break up a brawl involving dozens of kids.
"Usually adult supervision and usually if it doesn't work with staff, law enforcement would go in," said Walters.
On Saturday, some 150 law enforcement officers did respond and Tuesday, the first teen was charged in connection with the riot.
The Polk Sheriff's Office says during the mayhem, 17-year-old Charles Smith stole over-the-counter meds from the clinic. Smith had served his time at the academy and was about to be released the day he was charged.
Officials did not yet have an estimate of the damages at the facility, although Walters said after touring the academy, they were less extensive than she had expected.
While the state's investigation is ongoing, Walters says she has already decided to make one change at the facility- she will expedite the installation of surveillance cameras.
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