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Gilliam Youth Services Center

Juvenile Justice Ministry


Tim Butler



Gilliam Youth Services Center (GYSC) opened in April of 1903 and is the oldest state operated detention center in Colorado. It is located at 2844 Downing Street in northeast Denver and can detain up to 37 male and female young people, from the city and county of Denver. Approximately 900 young people, aged 10 to 17, are placed here each year, and their average length of confinement is 2 – 3 weeks. (Youths who are charged with serious crimes, including first degree murder, can be detained for a much longer period.)

All young people confined at the facility have access to a variety of programs and services including basic medical care, education, legal services, mental health services, physical exercise, and spiritual support. Families are encouraged to visit whenever possible, but these visits maybe limited based on a youth’s behavior while at the facility.

Since the late 1960’s, Denver Area Youth for Christ has provided a variety of religious services including mid-week Bible studies, small group services on Sunday mornings, mentoring, and pastoral care as requested by the youths. And for most of those years, YFC Chaplains have provided oversight, supervision, and training to many churches and ministry leaders (i.e., volunteers) who have faithfully served at the facility, some for decades.

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