Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
4/23/2024

Part I. Definitions and General Instructions

6VAC15-81-10. [Reserved]. (Reserved)

Statutory Authority

§§ 53.1-5, 53.1-80, and 53.1-82 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Reserved Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 12, eff. March 8, 2018.

6VAC15-81-20. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Acceptable" means those applicable standards or practices with which a registered professional architect, engineer, or other duly licensed or recognized authority must comply.

"Access openings" means panels or doors used for access into areas including ceilings, pipe chases, plumbing chases, or shafts.

"Accessible by inmates" means the same as "inmate accessible."

"ADA accessible" means in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 USC § 12101 et seq.).

"ADP" means average daily population.

"A/E" means the architect or engineer and his associated firm hired by the owner for study, design, or construction of the jail project.

"Analysis" means a detailed examination of the local or regional criminal justice system and its elements in order to determine the impact these elements have had on the need for current and future jail space.

"Approved" means an item approved by the reviewing authority.

"Artificial light" means light other than natural light.

"ASTM" means the American Society for Testing and Materials, the most current edition. When ASTM is referenced, the reference is to the Standards in ASTM Standards on Detention and Correctional Facilities, unless otherwise specified. Testing for compliance with ASTM Standards shall be performed by an independent nationally recognized testing laboratory.

"Board" means the Virginia State Board of Corrections.

"Building code" means Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63), the Virginia Industrialized Building Code (13VAC5-91), and the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (13VAC5-51).

"CCJB" means Community Criminal Justice Board.

"CCTV" means closed circuit television or electronic surveillance system.

"Ceilings" means overhead interior surface that covers the upper limit of an interior room or space.

"Cell" means a space, the size of which is specified in this chapter, enclosed by secure construction containing plumbing fixtures and usually a bunk in which an inmate is detained or sleeps. Cells can be single or multiple occupancy depending upon custody level.

"Cell tier" means levels of cells vertically stacked above one another within a housing unit.

"Central intake unit" means an area constructed to provide, at a minimum, space for intake, temporary holding, booking, court and juvenile (if approved for juveniles) holding, classification, and release functions.

"Classification unit" means a cell or unit utilized for short-term holding of inmates for classification purposes after intake or booking and prior to being assigned to general population or other housing.

"Community based corrections plan" or "CBCP" means a comprehensive assessment of an owner's correctional needs and how these needs will be met through submissions of a needs assessment and a planning study.

"Community custody" means inmates incarcerated by the judicial system and classified for involvement in local work forces; participating in work, education, and rehabilitation release; and weekend and nonconsecutive sentencing.

"Construction completion" means the construction of the building is considered complete when a certificate of occupancy or temporary certificate of occupancy is issued for the building to be occupied by inmates.

"Construction documents" means the detailed working drawings and project manual containing detailed specifications and other supporting documents as approved by the reviewing authority.

"Contact visiting" means a space where inmates and visitors at a minimum may pass papers to one another.

"Control room" means a space enclosed by secure walls, secure roof or secure ceiling, and secure floor from which a jail officer may supervise inmates and control security systems in a portion of the jail, such as locks, doors, etc.

"Control station" means a space not enclosed by security walls, roof or ceiling, and floor from which a jail officer may supervise inmates and control security systems in a portion of the jail, such as locks, doors, etc.

"Correctional facility" means the same as "local correctional facility."

"Dayroom" means a secure area contiguous to an inmate sleeping (cells or rooms) area, with controlled access from the inmate sleeping area, to which inmates may be admitted for daytime activities.

"Department" means the Department of Corrections.

"Design capacity" means the maximum number of general beds for which the facility is designed and constructed based on the space requirements in this chapter as established by the Board of Corrections.

"Direct supervision" means a specific style of management where correctional officers are stationed full time inside the dayroom rather than solely observing inmate activity from within secure control points. Within this concept, services are generally brought to the inmate rather than taking the inmate to the service.

"Direct visual observation" means direct line of sight by a correctional officer, not CCTV.

"Dormitory" means an area designed for accommodating five or more inmates and used to house minimum custody and community custody inmates.

"Encapsulation" means the same as "secure encapsulation."

"Expansion" means to add an area of new construction to an existing local correctional facility by constructing additional areas.

"Facility" means a jail or lockup including all associated buildings and site.

"50% completion" (of construction value) means the day the project reaches the 50% point between the issuance of a building construction permit and the issuance of the final certificate of occupancy.

"General population housing" means maximum, medium, minimum, and community custody housing. General population excludes special purpose cells and intake or booking.

"Glazing" means any infill material, usually transparent or translucent glass, polycarbonate or combination thereof, and related components, used in a framed assembly.

"Holding" means a space or room designed for temporary containment of detainees or inmates while awaiting actions such as transfer, transportation, release, etc. Holding of this nature usually does not exceed four hours.

"Housing unit" means a group of single person cells, multi-occupancy cells, or group of such cells with a common dayroom, dormitory, intake, special purpose, or classification area that provide accommodations for sleeping, approved personal effects, and personal hygiene.

"IMC" means intermediate metal conduit.

"Indirect supervision" means supervision method other than direct supervision.

"Inmate" means any person committed to a jail by a legal commitment document.

"Inmate accessible" means areas an inmate occupies or utilizes inside the secure perimeter, including all sally ports.

"Intake" means a cell, group of cells, and open seating within a jail designed to hold one or more persons while awaiting processing, booking, classification, or assignment to the general housing units after booking. Intake holding time does not usually exceed 72 hours. Cells holding more than one person are frequently referred to as group holding.

"Interior partition" means a wall within the secure perimeter, which is not required to be a perimeter security wall or an interior security wall.

"Interior security walls" means walls within but not a part of a secure perimeter that are utilized to restrict movement within the secure area, including housing units, dormitories, corridors, inmate activity areas, intake area, kitchen, laundry, and program areas.

"Jail" means the same as "local correctional facility."

"LIDS" means LIDS-VACORIS, the Compensation Board's inmate data system.

"Life safety operations" means the function of certain electrical, mechanical, and other building equipment provided for the purpose of ensuring the life, health, and safety of building occupants in the case of an emergency situation.

"Light" means the same as "artificial light" or " natural light."

"Local correctional facility" means any jail, jail farm, or other place used for the detention or incarceration of adult inmates, excluding a lockup, which is owned, maintained, or operated by, or under contract with, any political subdivision or combination of political subdivisions of the Commonwealth. This shall also include facilities operated by a private entity under contract with a regional jail authority under provision of § 53.1-71.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Locality" means a county or city.

"Lockup" means a facility, separate from a jail facility, operated by or for a local government for detention of persons for a short period of time as stated in 6VAC15-40-10.

"Master control" means the principal secure room of the entire facility where the control of safety and security of the jail through electronic equipment for surveillance, communication, fire and smoke detection, and emergency functions. This room is enclosed by walls, roof or ceiling, and floor assemblies meeting secure perimeter requirements as well as having opening protectives meeting ASTM Grade 1 requirements. This room includes control of the entrances to the jail through the secure perimeter and capability of control of ingress and egress to cells, dayrooms, corridors, and other spaces within the entire jail.

"Maximum custody inmates" means persons who cannot be allowed to mingle physically with other inmates without close supervision, normally because of assaultive and aggressive behavior or high escape risk.

"Medium custody inmates" means those persons who require a moderate level of staff supervision and secure accommodations against escape, but who can be allowed to participate in group activities.

"Mezzanine" means the same as "cell tier."

"Minimum custody inmates" means those inmates classified as not dangerous or likely to escape, but who are of sufficient concern to require a minimum level of supervision.

"Minor renovation project" means renovation project that does not result in an increase in beds and has an estimated cost of less than $5 million.

"Multiple occupancy cell" means a cell designed for two, three, or four inmates.

"Natural light" means light provided by sunlight as viewed from within a housing unit.

"Needs assessment" means an evaluation of trends and factors at the local or regional level affecting current and future facility needs, and the assessment of resources available to meet such needs. The needs assessment is used as the basis for a request for reimbursement of local correctional facility construction costs.

"New construction" means to build, expand, or replace a local correctional facility.

"Operating capacity" means the same as "design capacity."

"Owner" means the locality, localities, or jail authority responsible for making decisions about the project.

"Owner's agent" means the person or firm designated by an owner to make decisions concerning the project.

"Per inmate" or "per bed" means for each general population bed.

"Piping" means pipes associated with heating, cooling, condensate, domestic water, gas, steam, sewer, storm drain, roof drain, and fire protection.

"Planning study" means a document providing the anticipated operating program, staffing, operating costs, building design, and cost for construction, expansion, or renovation of a local correctional facility that is used as the basis for a request for funding of project costs for reimbursement and initial determination of compliance with this chapter.

"PREA" means the Prison Rape Elimination Act (Public Law 108‑79).

"Project" means new construction, renovation, or expansion of a regional or local jail correctional facility. This includes planning, design, and construction.

"Public" means all persons with the exception of professional visitors, such as legal, clergy, counselors, pretrial, probation, parole, and law enforcement, and others as authorized by the local correctional facility.

"Regional jail" means, for purposes of state reimbursement for construction costs, those jails that meet the criteria set forth in §§ 53.1-81, 53.1-82 and 53.1-95.2 of the Code of Virginia, any jail having at least three member localities that was created before February 1, 1993, or any jail construction project recommended for approval by the Board of Corrections as a regional jail prior to February 1, 1993. For the purposes of this term, "created" means localities having submitted resolutions of local governing bodies or cooperative agreements, and "cooperative agreements" means a formal contract between those jurisdictions participating in a regional jail that specifies their mutual financial and legal obligations relating to the ownership, administration, and maintenance of the jail.

"Renovation" means the alteration or other modification of an existing local correctional facility or piece of equipment for the purpose of modernizing or changing the use or capability of such local correctional facility or equipment. Renovation does not include work on or repair or replacement of any part of an existing local correctional facility or equipment, which may be generally associated with normal wear and tear or included in routine maintenance. Renovation renders the facility, item, or area in compliance with this chapter and superior to the original.

"Repair" means the correction of deficiencies in a local correctional facility or of equipment, which have either been damaged or worn by use but which can be economically returned to service without replacement.

"Replacement" means the construction of a local correctional facility in place of a like local correctional facility or the purchasing of like equipment to replace equipment that has been so damaged or has outlived its useful life that it cannot be economically renovated or repaired.

"Reviewing authority" means the representatives of the Department of Corrections or the Department of Criminal Justice Services responsible for reviewing required documents and attending required meetings and whose responsibility it is to interpret and determine compliance with this chapter.

"Sally port" means a secure vestibule constructed of secure walls, secure ceiling, and secure floor with two or more interlocking, secure doors. Fixtures within sally ports shall be maximum security.

"Secure," as relates to construction, means walls, floors, ceilings or roofs, doors, and windows are constructed in accordance with the secure construction requirements of this chapter.

"Secure area" means all spaces located within the secure perimeter. (See secure perimeter).

"Secure encapsulation" means protect against vandalism or damage with concrete, masonry, steel, or other approved secure construction meeting the requirements of this chapter.

"Secure enclosure" means secure walls, secure floors, and secure roof or secure ceiling surrounding a space or area.

"Secure perimeter" means the outer limits of a jail or lockup where walls, floor, roof, and ceiling, constructed in accordance with the requirements of this chapter, are used to prevent egress by inmates or ingress by unauthorized persons or contraband.

"Security cap" means secure protection of the top of a room or space with concrete, sheet metal, or security ceiling as specified in this chapter to complete the secure encapsulation of the room or space.

"Special purpose cells" means cells within the secure perimeter that include isolation, segregation, medical, protective custody, or other special use cells.

"State responsible inmates" means those inmates with felony sentences and sentenced to the custody of the Department of Corrections in accordance with § 53.1-20 of the Code of Virginia or other applicable state law.

"Supervision" means the act or process of performing responsible care over inmates.

"Support services areas" means all areas within the facility excluding inmate housing units. Also known as core or core space.

"Sustainable design and construction initiatives" means balancing economic, environmental, and equity considerations by reducing negative environmental impacts of site selection and development, optimizing the energy and water performance of the building and site, using environmentally sensitive building materials, and protecting the health and comfort of building occupants. Sustainable design and construction initiatives are benchmarked by third-party rating systems such as LEED or Green Globes or by documenting compliance with ASHRAE 189.1 or the International Green Construction Code.

"Tier" means the same as "cell tier."

"Value management analysis" or "VMA" means an analysis of facility design for the purpose of satisfying required function, and cost effectiveness, while providing the best quality and efficiency for the project.

"Value management team" means a team of people independent from the owner or the owner's A/E headed by a certified value specialist and a combination of the following disciplines based on phase and nature of the project: architecture, security, civil or site engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, and cost estimator.

"Vehicular sally port" means a drive-in or drive-through made secure preferably by remotely controlled electrically operated interlocking doors for entrance and exit. It is normally located in close proximity to the facility intake.

Statutory Authority

§§ 53.1-5, 53.1-80, and 53.1-82 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 12, eff. March 8, 2018; Errata, 34:13 VA.R. 1335 February 19, 2018.

6VAC15-81-30. [Reserved]. (Reserved)

Statutory Authority

§§ 53.1-5, 53.1-80, and 53.1-82 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Reserved Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 12, eff. March 8, 2018.

6VAC15-81-40. Expansions or renovations.

Expansions or renovations to any facility shall conform to the requirements of this chapter for new construction without requiring the existing portion of the facility to comply with all requirements of this chapter. Exception: Those areas in an existing facility that are impacted by an expansion (such as the adding of bedspace impacting the need for more space in the kitchen, visiting, recreation, etc. if these services are not provided for in the expansion) may be required to be upgraded. The maximum upgrade required would be to provide additional space that would be required for the number of people for whom new bedspace is being built.

Statutory Authority

§§ 53.1-5, 53.1-80, and 53.1-82 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 12, eff. March 8, 2018.

6VAC15-81-50. Localities with multiple facilities.

For localities with jail facilities having multiple facilities, compliance with this chapter shall be determined based on all facilities as a whole as well as the needs and functions of each individual facility.

Statutory Authority

§§ 53.1-5, 53.1-80, and 53.1-82 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 12, eff. March 8, 2018.

6VAC15-81-60. Review and inspections.

Review of documents by the reviewing authority, fire official, local building official, and other officials or agencies shall be required. These reviews are performed at the preliminary and construction document stages. A final inspection shall be performed and documented in writing by all officials and agencies involved in the review process. The reviewing authority's review and inspections shall be limited to those areas within the scope of the project.

Statutory Authority

§§ 53.1-5, 53.1-80, and 53.1-82 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 12, eff. March 8, 2018.

6VAC15-81-70. Conflict between this chapter and building codes or other standards.

In the event of a conflict between this chapter and building codes or other standards, the most restrictive requirement shall apply.

Statutory Authority

§§ 53.1-5, 53.1-80, and 53.1-82 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 12, eff. March 8, 2018.

6VAC15-81-80. Compliance.

A. The facility shall be designed and constructed in accordance with this chapter. It shall be the responsibility of every person who performs work regulated by this chapter, including those involved with planning, design, construction, renovation, or installation of a structure or equipment, to comply with this chapter. Review or inspection by the reviewing authority does not relieve the owners or their agents from the requirement to comply with this chapter.

B. Definitions in this chapter are a part of the requirements of this chapter.

C. Any agreement entered into by the owner to design or construct a local correctional facility shall include the requirement to comply with this chapter. This compliance shall be noted on the construction documents.

Statutory Authority

§§ 53.1-5, 53.1-80, and 53.1-82 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 12, eff. March 8, 2018.

6VAC15-81-90. Modifications.

A. Any request for modification shall be submitted, separate from the planning study, in the form of a request and resolution from the jail authority or board, city council, or board of supervisors to the reviewing authority sufficiently in advance of the deadline for submission to the Board of Corrections to be reviewed, analyzed, and included in the desired Board of Corrections meeting agenda. The request for modification shall include a detailed analysis supported by documentation and historical data to justify the request.

B. A staff analysis shall be prepared by the reviewing authority for each modification request. The staff analysis shall include the section of this chapter being modified, an analysis to determine whether or not the modification meets the intent of the section being modified, an analysis of whether the modification has been granted in the past or has any ramifications that might affect current or future jail construction or security, and the analysis shall include a staff recommendation to the board.

C. Upon consideration, the board may grant modifications to any of the provisions of this chapter provided the spirit and intent of this chapter is observed and inmate, staff, and public welfare, safety, and security are not compromised. The board has the ultimate responsibility to grant modifications to this chapter and shall not be bound by the position of staff and shall also consider information provided by the locality or localities. The final decision of the board on any modification shall be recorded in board minutes.

Statutory Authority

§§ 53.1-5, 53.1-80, and 53.1-82 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 12, eff. March 8, 2018.

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