Youth Services Dept. Implements Free Phone Calls for Youth and Families

The Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) has announced that families and guardians no longer have to pay a 5-cent-per-minute charge for phone calls with youth in DYS’s juvenile correctional facilities.

DYS and telecommunications vendor Global Tel Link (GTL) eliminated the charge under their latest contract, which for the first time is a joint contract between GTL, DYS, and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC). Because of DRC’s size – it serves approximately 45,000 adult inmates in Ohio – GTL waived the phone-call fees for DYS families. DYS serves approximately 335 youth at three juvenile correctional facilities in Cuyahoga County, Massillon, and Circleville.

“Maintaining contact with loved ones is critical to a youth’s development and well-being, so it’s important we facilitate and encourage that communication as best as we can,” said DYS Director Ryan Gies. “While the previous charge of 5 cents per minute might seem nominal to some of us, we think eliminating it will foster more frequent communication between youth and their families, leading to reduced feelings of isolation, deeper personal connections, and a stronger path toward a healthy, safe, and productive future.”

GTL specializes in telecommunication services for the corrections industry.

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