Seneca County Youth Center Virtual Tour

View the ribbon cutting ceremony

Seneca County Youth Center

3120 S Rt. 100
Tiffin, OH 44883

Facility Description

The Seneca County Youth Center is a division of the Seneca County Juvenile Court. The Seneca County Youth Center is a 24 bed detention facility. The facility’s construction began in April 2012 and was completed in February of 2013.  This facility is the State of Ohio’s newest facility and replaces a facility that was constructed in the 1950′s.  This facility was made possible with a grant from the State of Ohio, forethought of the County Commissioners, and the work of three Juvenile Court Judges.

The Seneca County Youth Center houses both male and female juveniles, who have committed or have been convicted of a delinquent act or status offense. Once admitted, a resident’s length of stay can range from 24 hours up to 90 days per charge. A juvenile who is on probation will typically serve what is called pre-authorized time. Meaning, the court establishes a set amount of time a juvenile will serve if he or she violates the terms of probation. The Seneca County Youth Center houses juveniles up to the age of eighteen (or longer if the youth is still on probation with the juvenile court). Generally, the average age range is between 14 and 17. The Seneca County Youth Center also accepts juveniles from other counties on a daily per diem rate.

Intake Process

It all begins with a youth being charged with a criminal act or placed into this facility for a predetermined amount of time (sentence). Upon admittance into this facility all youth are subject to an intake search. This involves checking of the person using a pat down and a metal detecting wand. The youth are then required to answer a series of questions concerning mental and physical health. All youth are then allowed to place a five minute phone call home to a parent/guardian. Staff will use this time to answer questions and inform custodians/guardians what will happen next. Youth will then be given a shower contraband search (no clothes are removed beyond undergarments in view of staff).  After the shower the youth are given facility issued clothing to wear. They are assigned a room and are given a rule book to read over. They will then be placed in all programming with other youth.


Within 7 days all youth are given a physical screening. Nurses come to this facility Monday-Friday in the morning to set up meds and conduct physicals/med call. All prescription meds are distributed by staff. If your child is currently taking prescribed medication please bring it to the Youth Center. You will be required to fill out a medication verification form listed medications and times assigned by physician.

Mental Health

We have a counselor visit the center two days a week. They conduct individual and group sessions with the youth. Youth that are assessed and in need are placed in a group for Trauma therapy. Initial assessments are done on a case by case basis and calls are made to parents to set up appointments. Funding for this comes from grants through mental health board. The Juvenile Detention Center works closely with the Firelands Mental Health to provide crisis and ongoing mental health services for detained youth. Twenty four hour access is given to all mental health professionals to assist youth.  Within reason, youth are allowed to be transported to mental health appointments outside of the facility.

Suicide Prevention

We take threats of self-harm seriously. If at any time we believe your child is at risk to harm themselves we will take necessary precautions and place them in suicide restrictive clothing and monitor them closer. The youth will only be in this clothing when they are in their cells and behavior permitting they will spend no more time in cells than other youth.

School Program

To ensure that juveniles incarcerated at the Seneca County Youth Center continue to receive their schooling, the Detention Center has contracted with the North Central Ohio Educational Services Center to provide two state licensed teachers and a teacher’s aide. All youth, regardless if they have graduated, withdrawn or been expelled, are expected to participate in our educational program.

The Seneca County Youth Center believes that education is a cooperative process that involves administrators, teachers, students, parents and the community in promoting excellent educational programs through a constant cycle of diagnosis of need, implementation and evaluation. Recognizing that each district is unique and diverse, education services at SCYC are designed to meet the requirements of the student’s home district.

The youth center’s educational program provides structured classes 5.5 hours per day, Monday through Friday throughout the school year. The class work completed allows the juvenile to obtain an excused absence from school unless he/she is suspended or expelled. While in the classroom the licensed teacher ensures that the juveniles are continuing with their schoolwork assigned by their residential school district or by the SCYC teacher. All assignments from their home school are returned to the school district for grading. SCYC also has a summer school program to ensure the educational programming continues year-round.

Each youth has access to an individual computer in a small class room setting designed with one-on-one instruction. All youth receive an individual assessment, within 5 days of entering facility, to determine proper instruction assistance.


All youth receive 3 meals a day and one evening snack. All meals are approved by the State of Ohio and a dietician. Youths have the ability to purchase extra snacks with points earned with behavioral management system. No money is to be used in this facility to purchase items.


The Seneca County Youth Center uses a rewards/consequences point based behavior modification program. At the beginning of each day, residents are given 5 points to keep or lose based on his/her ability to be compliant with the facility’s rules. A loss of 5 points in a day can result in an extra day added onto a juvenile’s stay and he/she will lose all earned privileges for the day.

Residents have the opportunity to participate in mental health services during his/her time spent at the Seneca County Youth Center. Some of the programming provided to the residents consists of substance abuse groups, thinking errors, life skills,  Teen Alcoholic Anonymous, self-esteem groups, reading groups, credit recovery, tutoring, and religious service provided by local church groups. The residents have the option to attend all programming that is made available to them.However, refusal to attend can lead to point loss and room placement.


The detention facility provides a recreational and leisure time program that includes organized large-muscle (cardiovascular) activity and structured leisure time. A large gymnasium and outside recreation yard are available.


The Youth Center is equipped with a small library with books and reference materials on hand for use by detention residents. All library materials are purchased by this facility or donated by local businesses, schools, parents and the general public. Any non-school books brought into this facility must be donated to all youth and not given to an individual.

Mail and Letter Writing

Residents are permitted to write two letters a week to their legal guardians, siblings,grandparents, minister/clergy, attorney, probation officer, or judge. Parents are permitted to bring in additional stamps and envelopes so your child can write as many letters as he/she desires.  Residents can receive mail from his/her legal guardians, siblings, grandparents, minister/clergy,attorney, probation officer, or Judge. There is no limit to how much mail a resident can receive.


The detention facility encourages juveniles to maintain ties with their parents and/or legal guardians through regular visits. Flexible hours are available to accommodate visitors’ working schedules. Each detention resident is afforded the opportunity for thirty minutes of visitation weekly. Extra visits can be purchased by youth through behavioral management point system.

The Seneca County Youth Center offers five visitation periods where parents can visit their child for a half hour.  Due to limited space parents can only choose one of the five periods with which to visit their child. Parents who are divorced or separated, and cannot get along, can have separate times to visit with his/her child. However, these visits will have to rotate weekly.

The Seneca County Youth Center does not allow visitors under the age of 18.  Provisions in the visitation schedule will be made to accommodate a parent who cannot attend regularly scheduled time due to work, illness, or other reasonable requests made. To set up visitation you will need to call Monday-Friday between the hours of 7am and 3pm and speak with the Supervisor.

All visitations are on a first come first serve basis.  Below are the scheduled visitation times:

Tuesday 6:00-6:30 pm
Saturday 1:30pm – 2:00pm and 6:00-6:30pm
Sunday  1:30pm – 2:00pm and 6:00-6:30pm

Rules for Visitation

Visitors must be at Youth Center at least ten (10) minutes prior to their scheduled visitation time or they will be denied the visit. Any visitor who is suspected to be under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and/or drugs will not be permitted to visit.  Appropriate attire must be worn during visitation. Visitors will not be permitted to wear hats, jackets, sleeveless shirts/dresses, cut off shorts, etc. or any other attire SCYC staff deems inappropriate. The only visitors allowed inside the facility, other than listed above, are clergy and attorneys.  All visitors are subject to a search at any time and must pass through a metal detector upon entrance into the facility. Refusal to do so will result in denial of visit. All visitors will be required to show positive photo identification and must sign a visitation logbook. Visitors may be asked to leave at any time by a SCYC officer.


Youth Center staff may transport your child to his/her appointments. Your child may only attend individual counseling appointments during his/her detainment period. Youth Center Staff will transport your child for emergency only medical/dental/eye care appointments. The Nurses from the Seneca County General Health District will determine whether or not your child is in need of immediate care. The Youth Center will contact and notify you of the emergency.  All efforts will be made to set the appointment around a time that is convenient for you.  However, your child may need to be seen sooner depending upon the emergency.  Your child will not be permitted to attend any maintenance related appointment during his/her time at the Youth Center.  For example, yearly check-up appointments at the dentists, eye doctor, etc. To schedule any appointment/transports you will need to call Monday thru Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. to speak with the Supervisor.  Excluding emergency transports, a minimum of 48 hours notice is necessary.

Please understand that transports are granted based on staffing and availability.  It may be necessary to reschedule appointments.  As a part of the Youth Center’s policy staff will be transporting your child to his/her appointments in handcuffs and shackles.  This is to ensure the safety of the transport officer, community, and child being transported. When you child is transported it solely for the appointment.  No one other than a parent/guardian should be present at the appointment. Any deviations and or problems that arise from transports can and will result in further restrictions.

Religious Services

Throughout the week the residents have the opportunity to attend a scheduled religious service conducted by non denominational volunteers. Should you chose for your child to not participate in these services please call and notify a supervisor.

The Intern/Volunteer Program

The Seneca County Youth Center invites and encourages college students from the community to gain experience in working with at-risk youth. We accept criminal justice, education, forensic psychology, and psychology majors, or any other interested students. Interns and volunteers are supervised by Youth Center staff and work under the direction of the Program Manager. Anyone interested in being an intern must successfully pass a BCI background screen.  Anyone interested in becoming an intern should call Ben.