The Gilliam Youth Services Center (GYSC) is located in downtown Denver, CO. This co-ed facility has capacity to serve up to 64 youth, aged 10 through 17. Minors may be briefly detained at GYSC after arrest for a Colorado juvenile offense or may be committed for a time for evaluation. Youth may also serve a criminal sentence at this juvenile hall detention center.
GYSC is one of 10 residential juvenile detention centers run by the state. Although it is part of an overall “reform” movement to improve outcomes, this facility has been the subject of some reported controversy. This includes a recent armed escape by two juveniles and accusations of sexual impropriety (in 2016) by a security officer.
The address and phone number for Gilliam Youth Services Center:
2844 Downing St.
Denver CO 80205
On this page, our team of Colorado criminal defense lawyers provide detailed information about GYSC for the benefit of parents and guardians with a child now detained here. Below, we address the following topics:
- 1. Intake
- 2. How to Contact a Juvenile Detainee
- 3. Visitation
- 4. Program Information
- 5. Legal Advocacy
1. Intake and Adjudication at GYSC
Juveniles who are arrested and detained at Gilliam YSC have the right to a timely detention hearing. The norm is within 48 hours of initial detention, but this excludes weekends and holidays. At the hearing, a 2nd Judicial District judge will determine whether the child or teen can be released, should be detained pending trial, or will be transferred elsewhere. In rare cases, involving allegations of a serious felony offense, there may be a transfer to adult court.
2. How to Contact Your Loved One
First, know that new detainees at GYSC are allowed to make two initial phone calls, contacting parents/guardians and/or legal counsel. After the initial 48 hours, detainees and juvenile inmates are permitted to make appropriate, local phone calls at regularly scheduled times. They can also receive incoming calls from parents, guardians or custodians, as well as attorneys.
You are also encouraged to write an incarcerated child or teenager, and he or she will be provided with postage to mail out two letters a week. Incoming mail is scanned but not read unless there is a perceived threat to safety or security.
3. Visitation Policies at GYSC
During the youth’s first 48 hours at this juvenile detention center, parents and legal guardians can visit without an appointment (prior to 8 p.m.). The public entrance (and parking) is at the corner of Downing and 28th Streets. Photo identification is required.
After this, all visits will require an appointment, which can be scheduled by calling this number: 303-291-8951. Relatives other than parents, guardians, or custodians are considered “special visits” and may be allowed on a case by case basis. Juvenile GYSC residents who have achieved “level 4” status through good behavior can use points to purchase these special visits.
Visits, which are 45-minutes, can be scheduled up to a week ahead during the following visitation hours:
Monday through Wednesday: 4:00, 6:30, 7:30
Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, 6:30
Note that if you arrive for your visit more than 15 minutes late, the visit will be cancelled.
Extended visiting hours are provided on Christmas and Thanksgiving days. (No gifts are allowed.)
Rules for visitation in Denver include the following:
- Visits are limited to two adults at a time
- Do not bring in purses, bags, jackets, hats and similar items
- Do not bring in food or drink
Lockers for storage and vending machines are provided.
4. Daily Life in Detention
The residents at GYSC are kept busy with educational and other programming, including classwork designed to meet Denver public schools curriculum. Activities take place 14 hours a day on weekdays and 12 hours a day on weekends and holidays. There are also weekly, optional religious services and an hour of daily recreation.
Incarcerated minors have access to medical care onsite as well as to on-call physicians, if needed. Mental health counseling and treatment is also available. Three meals plus snacks are provided daily. If there is a special dietary need, the onsite medical care provider must be notified within 24 hours of intake.
GYSC uses a four-tiered behavioral management program designed to encourage demonstrated achievement and responsibility. Advancement in the program brings increased privileges, including special visitation privileges.
5. Criminal Defense Help
Facing the arrest of a child or teen is difficult for any parent. Our team of criminal defense attorneys have assisted many Colorado families in this circumstance, defending minors accused of all types of juvenile crimes. Our lawyers will work hard to protect your child and help him or her keep a clean record. We can also help purge an existing record: (See expunging a juvenile record in Colorado.) To obtain a free consultation, please contact our Colorado juvenile crimes defense lawyers today.
See our related article on Denver Juvenile Court – A Guide for Parents.