Frequently Asked Questions

Q: The weather is bad. Is the Reformatory still open? 

A: If Richland County, Ohio is under a level 3 snow emergency at 9:00am or later, the Reformatory will be closed Tours. If the level 3 is standing or reported at 4:00 pm or later, that days evening events will be cancelled. Otherwise, the Reformatory will be open for all scheduled events. 

Q: Do you still do tours when it is raining?
A: Yes. Some areas may not be available for safety.

Q: Do you have a roof?
A: Yes.

Q: Are the tours guided?
A: Guided Tours are provided on Sundays, on select Saturdays as available, and by scheduling a group tour of 20 or more during the week. Other tour options include a self-guided  tour and audio wand option Monday through Sunday, April 1st- September 1st.

Q: Do you take credit cards?
A: Yes, we accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover. 

Q: Are there a lot of stairs on the tour?
A: Yes. On the Self-guided route, patrons can walk at their own pace and rest when needed. We also have the "Cell Bock Tour" for guests who can not walk the stairs. This tour includes Cellblocks, Solitary Confinement, Bullpen, Mini Bullpen, and Central Guard Room. Arrangements must be made in advance for this tour by calling 419.522.2644 xt 102.

Q: Are all the tours handicap accessible?
A: No. There are several flights of stairs on the tour routes. Please call the office to schedule a special tour of the ground level, which included the Cellblocks, Solitary Confinement, Bullpen, Mini Bullpen, and Central Guard Room.

Q: Can you take pictures or video?
A: Snapshots can be taken during your tour. No photographs may be used for personal profit. Photographs of the working correctional facility directly behind the Ohio State Reformatory are STRICTLY PROHIBITED! Tripods, monopods, lighting equipment, and models are considered a a "photo tour" and will yeild an additional fee. 

Q: Are there still inmates incarcerated there?
A: No.

Q: Are kids allowed on the tour?
A: The tours are not recommended for children under 7 years old or for pregnant women due to the amounts of lead-based paint in the building.

Q: Do I have to make a reservation or call ahead for tickets to the historic tours?
A: No pre-sale tickets or reservations necessary.  The self-guided tours NEVER sell out.

Q: If your tours have concluded for the season, can you still come out and walk around the prison?A: No. The Reformatory is located on a gated property. If you are visiting during the off-season, please feel free drive the Shawshank Trail and visit the other 13 sites associated with the movie.