CLEVELAND — The Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) announced it is eliminating a 5-cent charge that families and guardians had to pay for phone calls to youth in Ohio’s juvenile correctional facilities.
DYS and Global Tel Link (GTL), a company that specializes in telecommunication services for the corrections industry, eliminated the charge under their latest contract. The phone calls will now be free.
Global Tel Link said because of the size of the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), which serves approximately 45,000 incarcerated adults in Ohio, GTL waived the phone-calls fees for DYS families.
DYS currently serves approximately 335 youth at three juvenile correctional facilities in Cuyahoga, 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.”
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