Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
4/23/2024

Article 1. General Design Requirements

6VAC15-81-500. Secure local correctional facilities design and construction - general.

A. When designing the facility, consideration shall be given to appropriate traffic patterns, groups of functions, facilitating ease of movement to and within functions, clear sightlines to reduce blind spots, efficiency and economy of staffing, PREA, and facilitating a smooth, logical sequence of operation.

B. The reviewing authority may accept materials and systems documented to be equivalent to those required by this chapter.

C. Any deviation requiring a modification or variance of this chapter shall be submitted for review by the reviewing authority and approval by the Board of Corrections.

D. In addition to the minimum requirements, this chapter contains recommendations regarding design, construction, and security that, although not required, should be given serious consideration.

E. The reviewing authority may make recommendations regarding design, construction, and security that, while exceeding minimum requirements, may be desirable to adopt.

F. Review or inspection by the reviewing authority does not relieve the owner or owner's agent from the requirement to comply with this chapter.

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.

6VAC15-81-510. Separation of males, females, and juveniles.

A. Secure housing units, intake cells, and special purpose cells shall be designed and constructed to ensure physical separation and to prohibit normal sight or sound communication between males and females.

1. "Secure housing" means housing for all inmates (maximum, medium, and minimum) not classified as community custody.

2. If the facility is designed to hold juveniles, the areas used for juveniles shall be designed to prohibit normal communications by sight and sound and ensure physical separation of the juvenile from the adult population.

B. Separation of internal movement of juveniles shall be in accordance with 6VAC15-40, Minimum Standards for Jails and Lockups.

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.

6VAC15-81-520. Traffic patterns.

A. If secure and community custody housing are provided in the same building, the design of the facilities shall provide traffic patterns to assure the separation of secure and community custody inmate populations.

B. Design of public access shall be such that the public does not enter into the secure perimeter of the facility, and the traffic pattern for the public shall be separate from that of inmates.

C. The reviewing authority may require that intake, release, and court holding areas be separate and distinct functions and traffic patterns be kept separated from each other. The reviewing authority may require that means of egress for the inmate release area and for the court holding area be separate from the intake and booking area entrance.

D. Exterior pedestrian and vehicular routing shall be designed for separation of traffic patterns.

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.

6VAC15-81-530. Related areas.

The following areas shall be outside the secure perimeter:

1. Magistrate offices and law-enforcement lobby (if provided).

2. Parking.

3. Public visitation and waiting area.

4. Armory.

5. Maintenance shop (if provided).

6. Main (primary) mechanical room.

7. Vehicular sally port.

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.

6VAC15-81-540. Administration.

A. The jail shall provide space consistent with the size of the facility for administrative, program, and clerical personnel.

B. Space shall be provided within the secure perimeter for the shift or watch commander's office, counselor's office, and other offices that the jail operation requires.

C. Space shall be provided for staff break or dining. Locating staff break or dining within the secure perimeter shall be considered.

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.

6VAC15-81-550. Public areas.

A. Public areas of the facility shall be located outside the secure perimeter. Public access to the building shall be through a main entrance. The general public shall not have access inside the secure perimeter of the jail. Traffic patterns of the public and inmates shall be distinct, separate, and not intersect.

B. A reception and waiting area with appropriate informational signage shall be provided for the public and shall be so situated that it does not interfere with the administrative office operations. The public waiting area shall include sufficient seating, drinking fountains, toilet facilities, and weapons lockers equipped with individually locked compartments. Consideration shall be given to provision for public lockers.

C. All exterior areas, including parking, shall be adequately lighted.

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.

6VAC15-81-560. Secure perimeter.

The secure perimeter of the facility shall be composed of a complete and continuous security envelope consisting of walls, roofs, ceiling, floors, doors, door locks, and other hardware, windows and glazing constructed in accordance with the security perimeter requirements of this chapter. The secure perimeter shall be clearly indicated on the plans.

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.

6VAC15-81-570. Interior security walls, interior partitions.

A. Interior security walls shall be provided around and between all housing units, cells, dormitories, armories, sally ports, central intake units, classification units, control rooms, recreation areas, kitchens, inmate dining halls (if separate from housing), canteens (commissaries), multipurpose rooms with toilets, central laundry, laundry chemical rooms, pharmacies, medical units, records rooms within the secure perimeter, and property rooms. Interior security walls, and opening protectives shall be constructed in accordance with 6VAC15-81-930.

B. Interior partitions.

1. Interior partitions may be provided between support services such as but not limited to multipurpose rooms without adjacent toilets and staff dining.

2. Interior partitions shall not be substituted for required interior security walls.

3. Interior partitions shall be constructed in accordance with 6VAC15-81-930.

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.

6VAC15-81-580. Exterior areas.

A. Exterior areas, including parking and building exterior where CCTV is utilized, shall be lighted as recommended by the equipment manufacturer.

B. When landscaping, consideration shall be given to size and density of plantings within 25 feet of the building for security and fire safety reasons.

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.

6VAC15-81-590. Fencing.

A. Security fencing or security walls shall be provided for outdoor recreation areas. Exterior building configurations that create containment areas and all other areas shall be fenced as required by this chapter.

B. Access for maintenance shall be provided for all fenced areas.

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.

6VAC15-81-600. Emergency containment.

A. Alternate means for inmate containment shall be provided for in case of disaster, mass arrests, or emergency evacuation.

B. These areas may include outdoor recreation area, an enclosed vehicular sally port, or any other approved area that shall afford adequate security.

C. When planned for this purpose, these areas shall provide access to toilets and drinking water. Fixtures and equipment shall meet the requirements for temporary holding.

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.

6VAC15-81-610. Armory.

A. Secure storage for security equipment, restraining devices, firearms, chemical agents, etc. shall be located outside the secure perimeter and convenient to security personnel responding to emergency situations.

B. Walls, floor, opening protectives, and roof or ceiling of this area shall meet requirements for secure construction.

C. This area shall have a dedicated exhaust system.

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.

6VAC15-81-620. Pedestrian sally ports.

A. Sally ports shall be provided at any point the secure perimeter of the building is penetrated unless specifically exempted by this chapter.

B. Sally ports shall be provided at all exterior openings from security areas and at the entrances to housing units designed for maximum and medium security inmates.

C. Any stairwell with a door that penetrates the secure perimeter shall be constructed as a sally port.

D. For an emergency exits only, an exterior area enclosed with bar grille or woven rod may serve as the second barrier of a sally port. This sally port shall be provided with a top barrier at least equivalent to the vertical enclosure fence mesh and the area is supervised by CCTV.

E. Exterior security doors used solely to meet emergency evacuation requirements are not required to be sally ported, however, fencing the area to be utilized for evacuation is required if no sally port is provided.

F. Commercial grade sectional doors or overhead rolling doors are not considered secure and shall not be part of a sally port.

G. Consideration shall be given to providing weapon lockers equipped with individually locked compartments at the entry of staff and law-enforcement sally ports penetrating the secure perimeter.

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.

6VAC15-81-630. Vehicular sally port.

A. The vehicular sally port shall be provided with weapons lockers equipped with individually locked compartments.

B. Vehicular sally ports shall be weather protected. As a minimum the lower eight feet of the vehicular sally port walls shall be solid. This sally port shall be separated from adjacent spaces by secure and fire-rated construction and shall be observable by staff with CCTV as backup. If this sally port is to be used for emergency containment, an upgrade of the security level shall be considered.

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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