Detainees at Darwin's notorious Don Dale Detention Centre are due to move back in over the weekend after Tuesday's riot but the five inmates identified as ringleaders could be segregated.
The teenage group, including some who have committed serious sex crimes, may be separated from other inmates regarded as better prospects for rehabilitation under new "management plans".
Several attacked a youth justice worker with a metal table leg and stole his keys, let other inmates out of cells, set alight and destroyed an education building and used angle grinders to try to escape.
The worker required seven stitches to defence wounds on his hand.
The 25 detainees were moved to Darwin's Police Watch House, prompting criticism it wasn't safe for youths.
"These four to five did not behave in an acceptable manner the other night and led the issues at Don Dale so we are looking at appropriate management plans around them," Northern Territory Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison told reporters.
"We are looking at whereabouts in Don Dale they can be housed ... different staffing programs.
"There is also a cohort there making a real effort to become better people."
TV footage of teenagers being tear-gassed, spit-hooded and shackled at Don Dale prompted a Royal Commission two years ago.
The NT government has committed $229 million to implementing recommendations.
Criminal Lawyers Association NT president Marty Aust said Don Dale was a "death trap" that the youths should not be returning to.
The detainees that had not participated in the riot were afraid of the violent ringleaders identified by authorities, he said, and parents had a right to expect the NT government would provide a safe facility where detainees could not climb on roofs or light fires.
"The CLANT has grave concerns about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child being complied with ... do we need someone to die whether its a worker or a child?" Mr Aust said.