Frequently Asked Questions

1. My kid isn’t very big, will he/she be safe in the facility?
The highest focus of the Court is that every effort is made to ensure that each resident is kept safe and secure. Each staff member is required to complete required training and certification on proper and or appropriate management of juveniles in a detention setting.  

2. What kind of foo0d will he/she be eating? How often will he/she be fed?
To ensure meals are nutritionally balanced, well planned, and prepared and served in a manner that meets established governmental health and safety codes, a full-time, contracted, staff member experienced in food services management supervises all foodservices operations. All menus are approved by a licensed dietician. When planning and preparing meals, flavor, texture, temperature, appearance and palatability are taken into consideration. Juveniles are fed three meals a day, with two snacks served between meals.

3. What is the level system?
The level system is way for the facility to offer incentives to the youth for good behavior. The level system consists of Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each new level earned is given a reward, such as increased phone call time or special visitation privileges.

4. When can I call my son or daughter?
Youth will receive a call during the intake process. They will also complete a Bronze level petition, which would allow the youth to make a ten-minute phone call on Mondays and Saturdays. Silver level youth are awarded fifteen-minute phone calls on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and Gold level youth are given twenty-minute calls on Wednesday’s and Fridays. Guardians are not permitted to call the facility and request to speak with their child. Youth will contact their guardians on their assigned level days. Guardians may contact GTL at 1-866-230-7761 to set up an account to receive collect phone calls from their youth.

5. Who do I talk to about this/her medications?
Medical staff and services are provided pursuant to a contract with Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The facility has full time nursing staff on site seven days a week. A licensed physician reviews all problems or concerns identified by the nursing staff. If a parent/guardian has a question, they may call the nurse to inquire further about their child.

6. Can his/her child come visit the min the facility?
Youth may earn visitation privileges, through our level system, to visit with their child(ren). The court may also provide a court order for the youth to have visitation with his/her child(ren).

7. Can his/her siblings come visit?
If the sibling is over 18, the youth can earn special visits through the level system that can permit them to visit.

8. When can I come visit my child?
Please see the visitation schedule listed on our website for details ( is Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday for youth under 18 and Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday for youth who 18 and over. Each visit may last up to 30 minutes. Each visit must be scheduled in advance. There are specific times when calls are accepted for scheduling as shown on our website.

9. My child has mental health concerns, whom can I talk to about this?
A parent/guardian may call the Unit Manager or Crisis Manager. Residents in need of crisis intervention services shall be referred to the Shift Manager or designee. During business hours, a referral is made by a shift supervisor directly to the Shift Manager or designee. A shift supervisor is available 24 hours, seven-days a week to address the emergency needs of the youth. The supervisor may contact the Administrator on Call for assistance. Crisis Managers are available during business hours and as needed.

10. My child has issues with other gang members/youth threatening him. Can we make sure they are not around each other?
We work hard to keep our youth safe. Youth are always supervised and monitored to prevent any issues with other youth.

11. How is their day structured?
A schedule outlining the youth’s activities for the day is provided by the programming/recreational department. If you are interested in seeing the schedule, please contact administration at 614-525-4490. 

12. Do they go to school?
Classes are taught by Columbus City School teachers and the youth follow the same schedule and calendar as Columbus City Schools. Education records can be obtained from the Columbus City Schools’ Special Education Department by calling 614-365-5225.

13. Do they go to church? Do they have time for prayer?

All youth have equal access to religious services. Youth who wish a Koran, prayer mat or the wearing of a hijab are required to complete a conference request form (available in each unit) to specifically request those items. A chaplain will ensure that various religious programs are available to all youth. The facility offers multiple religious services weekly. Youth who wish to speak to a chaplain privately are encouraged to complete a conference request form or by asking any officer in the facility or by signing up when the chaplain comes around with a sign-up sheet, which happens multiple times in a week.


14. Do they get to participate in physical activity?

To promote good health and wellbeing, youth have access to recreational programming and equipment for physical activity, including outdoor exercise, as the weather permits. The schedule includes a minimum of one hour of physical activity that focuses on large muscle development and one hour of leisure activity a day.


15. Can they get their GED while in the facility?

Youth can obtain their GED while in detention. There are on-site tutoring services available to help prepare youth for each section of the exam. After tutoring is completed, youth are given the GED pre-test to determine their preparedness for the official GED exam. Once they have achieved a certain score in all areas of the pre-test, they are scheduled to take the official GED exam with our test administrator. Testing is completed over a two-day period to maximize successful outcomes.


16. Can I put money on their books for food?

The facility provides three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) as well as three snacks a day between each meal. Youth are also able to earn commissary based on their display of good behavior through the level system. Additional funds are not necessary.


17. Are they sleeping in single rooms? Do they have roommates?

Youth reside in groups called pods with each pod consisting of 8 – 12 single rooms.


18. My child reported problems at the facility during our phone conversation, who can I talk to about these problems?

You may call the facilityat614-525-4350 and speak to a shift supervisor on duty.


19. How often are they wearing handcuffs?

Handcuffs and restraints seriously. They are only used to maintain safety and security. Every use of restraints and handcuffs are reviewed and tracked by administration.


20. They have property of mine (ex. Phone) that was brought into the facility, how do I get that back?

A juvenile’s property cannot be released after he/she has been held in the facility without an order from the court directing the facility to release said items. To recover items, a photo identification is required.


21. Do I need to bring them clothes? Personal items? What do they wear?

No, all youths are given a full issue of clothing and bedding to use during their stay. Clean underclothes and uniforms are provided daily. Parents/guardians may contact a supervisor if they wish to have their son/daughter wear specific clothing to court. For personal hygiene items, parents/guardians may contact medical at 614-525-4152.


22. If they have doctor’s or dentist appointments, do they get to go?

Youth are seen by doctors and nurses contracted through Nationwide Children’s Hospital. All medical and dental needs are addressed.


23. If something happens to my child, will I be notified?

Parents/legal guardians are notified of all significant or critical incidents involving their child.


24. Do they get haircuts?

Haircuts are given on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They can receive a haircut on whichever one of those days fall before their next court date. If there is no upcoming court date, youth can still fill out a request form (available on each unit), but it will depend on availability.


25. My child is currently in counseling, can his counselor visit?

Yes, with a court order.


26. Can he/she have pictures of family?

The ability to have personal items is a privilege youth can earn by demonstrating good behavior through the level system.


27. Can they write letters? If so, do I need to provide envelopes or stamps?

The facility will pay for a limited amount of outgoing mail each week.