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Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center

Juvenile Justice Ministry


James Gillespie

Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center is Colorado’s largest and oldest secure treatment institution for male offenders who have been found guilty of violent crimes.  Unlike a detention center where a youth may only be confined for a period of a few weeks or months, youths who are placed here may spend up to 5 years, depending on their age and criminal history.

When it was first established in 1881, it was designed to be a humane and progressive rehabilitative school for incorrigible young men between the ages of 7 and 16.  It remained that way until the 1980’s when it was reconfigured to meet Colorado’s needs as a maximum-security corrections facility for male offenders ages 15-21.

The facility provides a wide range of programs and services with the intent to rehabilitate the youth and help them first understand the impact of their choices on their victims, themselves and their families, and society at-large.  Those programs include, but are not limited to educational programs, family therapy, recreational programs, spiritual services, therapeutic services, and vocational programs.

Since the mid-70’s, Denver Area Youth for Christ has been an active and supportive presence at this facility providing a variety of programs and services including Bible studies, church services, mentoring, and individual pastoral care to the youths.  As with other facilities, YFC Chaplains have provided oversight, supervision, and training to a variety of churches and individuals who have faithfully ministered at the facility.

Learn more about Juvenile Justice Ministries at