FACT CHECK: Do These Pictures Show The Inside Of A Prison In Cincinnati?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook over 1,300 times purportedly shows arcade games, a dining hall and an indoor basketball court inside Hamilton County Justice Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Verdict: False

The photos do not show the inside of the Hamilton County Justice Center.

Fact Check:

The post includes six images, some of which show an arcade, a spacious dining hall and an indoor basketball court. Text accompanying the photos reads, “Hamilton County Justice Center , **Cincinnati OH.”

While the prison in Cincinnati does exist, a reverse image search reveals none of the pictures included in the post, except for one, were taken at the jail. (RELATED: Viral Photos Of Crowded Detention Centers Were Not Taken During The Trump Administration)

Two of the photos were taken at hotels built inside of former prisons. The photo of the lobby with the chandelier and sofas shows the Het Arresthuis, a hotel in the Netherlands that was built in an old detention center, according to the hotel’s website. The building’s cell block is now called “The Gallery” and is host to wedding receptions, parties and dinners, the website explains. The picture of the jail cell bedroom is a hotel room available for rent at the Langholmen in Sweden, where guests can stay overnight in some of the renovated cells of the old Crown Prison, according to the hotel’s website.

The photo of the arcade was pulled from the Midland Family Bowl website, which explains Midland is a bowling alley in Fort Smith, Arkansas, that has an arcade, snack bar and a bowling rink. As for the dining room, the photo was shared on Facebook in July 2020 by Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort in Orlando, Florida, and shows the resort’s Bayliner Diner.

The indoor basketball court photo was taken from the website of Walker Home Design, a Utah-based company that designs custom homes, where it is listed as one of the company’s “fun spaces.” Finally, the photo of the indoor space with the staircase was taken inside Simmons Hall at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as can be seen on the university’s “Guide To Residences” webpage.

The only picture that does show Hamilton County Justice Center is the one showing the exterior of the building, which can be found on the Hamilton County Municipal Court Help Center’s website. A real photo of the inside of Hamilton County Justice Center can be seen in a 2019 article published by 91.7 WVXU.

“I’m not sure if this post was made as satire, but the only accurate photo is the one of the exterior of the Hamilton County Justice Center,” confirmed Kyla Woods, a spokesperson for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, in an email to Check Your Fact.

While Hamilton County Justice Center is not equipped with the luxuries depicted in the Facebook post, local authorities have taken steps to improve the prison’s facilities. The Hamilton County Sherriff’s Office announced in a press release last year that it would be installing over 100 terminals to allow inmates to video chat with their families and implementing SecureView tablets for inmates to use by the end of the year.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter