Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
4/23/2024

Article 2. Central Intake Unit Design, General Population, and Other Areas Design Requirements

6VAC15-81-640. Intake and processing.

A. The central intake unit shall be located within the secure perimeter of the facility, outside the general population housing units and shall be separated from other areas by an interior security wall.

B. The central intake unit shall be constructed to provide the following areas:

1. Booking or processing, including photographing and fingerprinting.

2. Clothing storage and issue.

3. Control room or station.

4. Custody transfer.

5. Intake cells and group cells.

6. Interview.

7. Medical screening.

8. Orientation.

9. Property storage.

10. Provisions for telephone calls.

11. Records storage (if not provided elsewhere).

12. Release and staging for court (if applicable).

13. Strip search and shower.

14. Video arraignment if arraignment is not provided elsewhere.

C. Intake cells and group areas.

1. Space shall be provided for intake of inmates at a minimum of one for every 10 inmates for which the facility is designed up to the first 400 beds of design capacity.

a. Intake cells, group cells, and open seating shall be provided at a ratio of one for every 40 beds of additional design capacity above 400.

b. Consideration shall be made for future expansion.

c. At least 50% of this required capacity shall be single cells with the remainder being a combination of group cells and open seating area. Exception: The number of single cells may be reduced based on approved statistical documentation or needs identified in the needs assessment.

2. Intake cells shall be designed to contain a minimum of 45 square feet for single occupancy cells plus 15 square feet per inmate for each additional inmate for which the cell is designed.

3. Each cell shall contain at least one stationary bench or bunk, hot and cold running water, a combination stainless steel toilet and lavatory with push button metering activators, and a sanitary bubbler.

4. Intake cells shall provide optimized observation of the interior of the cell. Modesty screening is required for toilets in cells with grillage or glazed openings greater than a total of 120 square inches in any cell wall. Exception: An observation cell with flushing floor drain and a bunk sized slab or platform raised a minimum of six inches above floor for sleeping is not required to have a toilet, lavatory, or privacy screening.

5. Lighting in cells, toilets, and showers shall be provided from a maximum security fixture of sufficient intensity to permit sight supervision.

6. Natural light and dayrooms are not required for intake cells or areas.

7. Intake cells shall be constructed as maximum security cells with maximum security doors, hardware, fixtures, equipment, and glazing or bar grille woven rod or combination thereof.

8. Toilets and lavatories shall be provided for use by those in open seating holding. Plumbing fixtures in this area shall be maximum security.

9. Showers shall be provided as follows:

a. For facilities with a design capacity of 200 or less: a minimum of two showers.

b. For facilities with a design capacity of 201 or more: a minimum of one additional shower for every 300 beds, or portion thereof, of additional design capacity.

D. Nonperimeter entrances and exits for the intake and release area shall be capable of being controlled from intake or local control. Security perimeter doors shall be controlled from master control only.

E. Secure storage space for inmate personal property shall be provided adjacent in proximity to the intake or release area.

1. The recommended amount of space is four to six inches of linear hanging space per inmate for which the facility is designed plus one cubic foot in bins or lockers, per inmate, for items that cannot be hung.

2. Consideration shall be given to providing washers and dryers in this area.

F. Release and court holding.

1. Consideration shall be given to separation of traffic patterns and additional holding for inmate release area and for court holding.

2. Number of cells shall be as defined in the needs assessment.

3. Egress for these areas shall be separate from the area serving the intake and booking entrance.

G. Temporary juvenile holding, pursuant to § 16.1-249 G of the Code of Virginia, if provided, shall be as follows:

1. Construction of juvenile cells or units shall be in accordance with this chapter as required for maximum security adult housing.

2. This ward or unit shall be physically, audibly, and visually separated from adult areas.

H. Consideration shall be given to future expansion.

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.

6VAC15-81-650. Security levels of housing.

A. Secure housing shall be constructed to provide housing for maximum, medium, and minimum custody inmates. Consideration shall be given to the mental health needs of inmates which may require dedicated housing areas with additional space for mental health professionals, treatment, and counseling. "Secure housing" means housing for all maximum, medium, and minimum inmates not classified as community custody.

1. The basic distribution of custody levels is expected to be 30% maximum, 40% medium, and 30% minimum or may vary based on documentation provided in the needs assessment.

2. Female housing shall consist of at least two separate units of which at least 50% of the female design capacity is medium security or higher.

3. Up to 25% of minimum custody may be community custody. Community custody beds do not require construction of special purpose cells.

B. Maximum security housing units shall be designed as groupings of single cells with dayrooms to afford protection for persons requiring maximum supervision.

1. The number of inmates per housing unit shall depend upon the degree of surveillance and security provided, but for facilities designed for an occupancy of 240 or fewer inmates, the unit shall be designed not to exceed 24 inmates per housing unit. For facilities designed for an occupancy in excess of 240 inmates, the number of occupants for which the unit is designed may be increased but shall not exceed 48 inmates per unit. A minimum of two maximum security housing units shall be provided. For indirect supervision facilities, all units shall be provided with direct visual observation from a control room. For direct supervision facilities, the reviewing authority may require that units be provided with direct visual observation from a control room.

2. 20% to 25% of maximum security cells may be dedicated as a classification unit. The classification unit shall be located in proximity to the intake unit. Consideration shall be given to male and female population. The classification unit shall include at least one private interview room, office space for classification personnel, medical room, and record storage.

C. Medium security housing units shall be designed as single, double, or four-inmate cells with common dayroom. The owner shall determine the number and type of cells per housing unit. The owner shall determine the number and type of cells per housing unit; however, no less than 30% of these cells shall be designed for single occupancy. These units shall be designed to accommodate no more than 64 inmates per housing unit for direct supervision or 48 inmates per housing unit for indirect supervision. At least two housing units shall be provided. For indirect supervision facilities, the reviewing authority may require that all units provide direct visual observation from a control room.

D. Minimum security housing units shall be designed as dormitories or multiple occupancy cells. Minimum security areas shall be designed to accommodate no more than 48 inmates per housing unit in dormitories or 64 inmates per unit with multiple occupancy cells. At least two housing units shall be provided.

E. Community custody facilities shall be constructed in accordance with Part VI (6VAC15-81-1130 et seq.) of this chapter. Consideration should be given to male and female populations.

F. Juvenile housing.

1. If the facility is to hold juveniles, housing units shall be physically, audibly, and visually separated from adult areas to prohibit adult and juvenile communication in accordance with the "Guidance Manual for Monitoring Facilities under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Act of 2002," published by OJJDP in October 2010. Showers, personal hygiene, and dressing areas shall be designed to comply with PREA.

2. Juvenile housing units shall provide general purpose housing designed and constructed in accordance with maximum security requirements of 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.

6VAC15-81-660. Cells and dayrooms.

Maximum and medium security:

1. All single cells shall be sized in accordance with the latest edition of the American Correctional Association Standards for Adult Local Detention Facilities and have a ceiling height no less than eight feet. Single occupancy cells, with the exception of special purpose cells, shall be configured to open into a dayroom or activity space.

2. Multiple occupancy cells shall be designed for no more than four inmates per cell and shall be sized in accordance with the current American Correctional Association Standards for Adult Local Detention Facilities concerning multiple occupancy cells and have a ceiling height of no less than eight feet. Multiple occupancy cells shall be configured to open into a dayroom.

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.

6VAC15-81-670. Cell requirements.

A. All cells shall be enclosed within secure walls, floor, and ceiling, as specified in this section, and shall include secure opening protectives. Each cell shall be provided with artificial light, toilet and lavatory fixtures with metering push button activators, hot and cold running water, a security type mirror mounted at standard height, a stationary bed or bunk and storage.

B. Maximum security cells shall have maximum security walls, maximum security doors, fixtures, equipment, and hardware meeting a minimum of ASTM Grade 1 requirements.

C. Medium security cells shall have interior security walls surrounding each housing unit meeting a minimum of ASTM Grade 2 requirements; however, the walls separating individual cells may be interior partitions.

D. Minimum security cells shall have walls, doors, fixtures, equipment, and hardware meeting a minimum of ASTM Grade 3 requirements.

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.

6VAC15-81-680. Dayroom requirements.

A. Dayroom space shall contain no less than 35 square feet of space for each inmate for whom the unit is designed to serve. Calculation of this space shall not include sally ports, visitation booths, stairs, area under stairs, toilet, shower, and lavatory areas. On the first level an 18-inch wide path in front of all cell fronts, toilets, and showers, and the tiered walkway in front of upper level cells shall not be counted as dayroom space.

B. Each dayroom shall be equipped with a shower, toilet, lavatory with hot and cold running water activated by metering push button activators, and a drinking fountain or the lavatory equipped with sanitary bubbler. Fixtures shall be security type in accordance with the security level for which the unit is designed.

C. Stationary security type tables and dayroom seating shall be provided in maximum and medium security areas of the facilities designed for indirect supervision. Stationary security type tables and seating shall be provided for facilities designed for maximum security with direct supervision. Tables and seating for medium security direct supervision living areas may be loose but shall be designed for detention facilities and be fire retardant and vandal resistant. In accordance with the Code of Virginia only fixed equipment is reimbursable and loose equipment is not considered reimbursable except in minimum security housing.

D. Tables and seating shall be sufficient to accommodate the number of inmates for whom the area is designed.

E. Stairs in multilevel dayrooms shall have open risers.

F. If a housing unit is provided with an ADA accessible cell, the dayroom toilet shall be provided with an ADA accessible fixture.

G. Showers and toilets shall be located to provide visual supervision from a control station or control room and to provide privacy from the housing unit occupants and from visibility from circulation corridors. Showers, personal hygiene, and dressing areas shall be designed to comply with PREA.

H. If video visitation monitors are provided in the dayroom, they shall be positioned to maximize privacy for both the visiting inmate and visitor.

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.

6VAC15-81-690. Dormitory requirements.

A. Dormitories shall have walls, doors, fixtures, equipment, and hardware meeting a minimum of ASTM Grade 3 requirements.

B. All dormitories shall be constructed to provide 85 square feet of space per inmate for each inmate for whom the area is designed. The 85 square feet associated with dormitory space is normally separated into 50 square feet for sleeping and 35 square feet for activity. Calculation of this space shall not include sally ports, stairs, area under stairs, toilet, shower, and lavatory areas.

C. All dormitories shall be provided with artificial light, toilet and lavatory fixtures, hot and cold running water, and a drinking fountain or lavatory equipped with sanitary bubbler, security type mirrors at standard height, tables, and chairs or benches in sufficient number to accommodate the dormitory's design capacity.

D. Tables and seating shall be sufficient to accommodate the number of inmates for whom the area is designed.

E. Showers and toilets shall be located to provide visual supervision from a control station or control room as well as privacy from the housing unit occupants and from visibility from circulation corridors.

F. Stairs in multilevel dormitories shall have open risers.

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.

6VAC15-81-700. Natural light.

Natural light is required in general population housing units in new construction. Consideration shall be given to providing natural light in renovation projects that provide new inmate housing.

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.

6VAC15-81-710. Artificial light.

A. Artificial light shall be provided in all cells, dayrooms, and dormitories to provide at least 20 foot-candles at personal grooming areas, tables, and desk tops, if desks are provided. Night lighting is required.

B. Light fixtures used within the secure perimeter shall be equivalent to the security level of the area in which they are designed.

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.

6VAC15-81-720. Climate control.

Heat and air conditioning shall be provided in all rooms in the facility so that a temperature not less than 65 degrees F or more than 85 degrees F is maintained. Exceptions to this requirement include warehouses, industrial spaces, and mechanical and electrical spaces, which may be mechanically ventilated. Special consideration shall be afforded to additional cooling in kitchen, food storage areas, and rooms containing heat sensitive and electronic equipment.

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.

6VAC15-81-730. Equipment and fixtures.

Equipment and fixtures used within the secure perimeter shall be equivalent to the security level of the area in which they are designed.

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.

6VAC15-81-740. Special purpose cells.

A. There shall be a minimum of one special purpose cell (e.g., isolation, medical, or segregation) for each 10 secure inmates for whom the facility is designed.

B. The number of ADA accessible special purpose cells shall meet the percentage required by the building code.

C. All cells shall be provided with lighting from a maximum security fixture and be in accordance with artificial light requirements in 6VAC15-81-710.

D. Special purpose cells shall be sized in accordance with the American Correctional Association Standards for Local Detention Facilities for restrictive housing units with a ceiling height of at least eight feet and are not required to open onto an adjacent dayroom space.

E. A minimum of 80% of special purpose cells shall be constructed as maximum security cells. Up to 20% of special purpose cells may be of less secure construction if designed for medical usage.

F. Cells specifically designed for persons who are violent or self-destructive may be equipped with a flushing floor drain in lieu of a stainless steel combination plumbing fixture and a bunk sized slab or platform raised a minimum of six inches above finished floor.

G. Showers shall be provided within the special purpose housing unit. Consideration shall be given to providing cuff slots in doors for enclosed showers in special purpose housing units.

H. Special purpose cells shall not open directly into a main corridor or general population activity space.

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.

6VAC15-81-750. Multipurpose space.

A. Multipurpose spaces shall be provided in sufficient number and size to allow for and include multipurpose rooms, educational classrooms, religious services, group counseling services, program services, and library (if inmates are to be moved to the service). For purposes of this chapter, jail industry programs, as defined in §§ 53.1-133.1 through 53.1-133.9 of the Code of Virginia, are not considered multipurpose space.

B. The total multipurpose area square footage shall be designed and constructed to provide a minimum of 20 square feet per inmate for design capacity of the facility up to 480 inmates. No additional multipurpose space is required for facilities with a design capacity of over 480 inmates.

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.

6VAC15-81-760. Recreation.

A. Recreation space shall be provided at a rate of 10 square feet for each inmate for which the facility is designed up to 480 inmates. For facilities with a design capacity of over 480, no additional recreation space is required. A minimum of two recreation areas shall be provided in facilities with a design capacity of up to 240 inmates. For facilities with a design capacity greater than 240 inmates, a minimum of three recreation spaces shall be provided.

B. Indoor recreation is required, and consideration shall be given to outdoor recreation. At least one indoor recreation area shall have a minimum of 1000 square feet with an 18 foot ceiling height or overhead clearance. At least one outdoor recreation area, if provided, shall have a minimum of 1500 square feet with an 18 foot overhead clearance. Additional recreation areas, if indoors, may have lower clearance or ceiling heights if being utilized for activities such as a weight room or ping-pong. No recreation area shall have less than 600 square feet or measure less than 20 feet in any one direction.

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.

6VAC15-81-770. Library.

Library space shall be provided for an inmate library or provisions made for alternative library services.

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.

6VAC15-81-780. Commissary.

Space shall be provided for an inmate commissary and associated storage or provisions shall be made for alternative commissary services.

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.

6VAC15-81-790. Facility visiting area.

A. Accommodations for public visitors shall be designed to provide flexibility in the degree of physical security and supervision commensurate with security requirements of variously classified inmates. Paths of ingress or egress for inmates shall be designed to be separate from and not intersect ingress or egress paths of public visitors.

B. Consideration shall be given to providing lockers or areas for storage of handbags or other articles in the public lobby.

C. Noncontact visitation.

1. Noncontact visiting shall be provided at a rate of not less than one noncontact visiting space for each 20 inmates for whom the facility is designed, up to 240 inmates. Facilities designed for more than 240 inmates shall provide one additional noncontact visiting space for each additional 50 inmates.

2. In noncontact visiting areas, means shall be provided for audible communication between visitors and inmates. The communication system provided shall be designed to prevent passage of contraband.

3. If video visitation is utilized, a combination of on-site and off-site video visitation units for the public may comply with the requirements of subdivisions 1 and 2 of this subsection. In no event shall off-site video visitation be the only form of noncontact visitation.

4. At least 25% of public noncontact visitation shall be on site.

5. If inmate video visitation spaces are provided in the housing units, at least eight square feet shall be provided per video visitation space. This space shall not be counted towards calculation of dayroom or multipurpose room space.

D. Contact visitation.

1. Not less than two secure contact visiting rooms of at least 60 square feet each shall be provided for the first 100 inmates of design capacity for contact visits from law-enforcement officers, attorneys, clergy, and probation officers or parole officers. For facilities having a design capacity in excess of 100 inmates, one additional secure contact visiting room shall be provided for every additional 200 inmates of design capacity. These rooms shall be located to be either visually supervised or monitored by a control station or room.

2. Provisions shall be made to prevent transmission of intelligible communication to adjacent 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.

6VAC15-81-800. Food service.

A. If a kitchen is provided, it shall be equipped to meet the standards of the Department of Health and the following:

1. The kitchen and kitchen storage shall be sized in accordance with the design capacity of the facility and include consideration for future expansion.

2. The kitchen area, exclusive of dining and serving areas, shall be a minimum of 1500 square feet and for facilities in excess of 100 inmates of design capacity an additional three square feet per inmate shall be provided. The kitchen shall be located with consideration for ease of serving the inmate population and where supplies can readily be received without breaching security. Space for food storage rooms is in addition to the above minimum square footage.

3. Consideration shall be given to providing an inmate break area within the kitchen area. This shall not reduce the size of the kitchen or other spaces associated with the kitchen.

4. A janitor's closet and mop sink shall be located within the kitchen for exclusive use in the kitchen.

5. Storage space of adequate size and type to accommodate perishable, frozen, and bulk dry food storage shall be provided.

a. For facilities with a design capacity up to 1000 inmates, the storage space shall be sized not less than three square feet of floor space per inmate. For design capacity in excess of 1000, the sizing may be 2.7 square feet of floor space per inmate for the next 800 inmates. Further reductions may be approved for jails with a design capacity of greater than 1800 inmates. Storage space requirements are based on a seven-day supply need. Aggregate kitchen storage space shall be a minimum of 300 square feet of floor space.

b. The following breakdown of storage space is recommended: 40% dry, 36% refrigerated and 24% freezer.

c. Walls for food storage shall extend to the structure above.

6. All kitchen counters and table tops, legs, and bases; shelving; and fixed equipment shall be stainless steel.

7. The floors, walls, and ceilings in the food service areas shall be a smooth durable finish, shall withstand food spillage, and shall be easily cleanable.

8. Adequately sized separate lockable storage shall be provided for caustic, toxic, and flammable kitchen supplies. Secure storage or space for secure storage shall be provided for kitchen inventory of sharp implements and other potential weapons. Consideration shall be given for locating lockable storage in a separate locked room.

9. Provisions shall be made for kitchen waste removal from the kitchen area without crossing the food preparation area.

10. Hand washing sinks for inmate toilets shall be located outside the toilet room and in view of the staff.

11. Consideration shall be given to locating an emergency eye wash station in the kitchen.

12. Consideration shall be given to providing a smoke removal system for the kitchen.

B. In addition to kitchen and kitchen storage areas, a staff dining or break area shall be provided with a minimum of 15 square feet for each person the area is designed to serve. Floors, walls and ceilings shall be a smooth, durable finish and easily cleanable.

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.

6VAC15-81-810. Laundry.

A. If a central laundry is provided, commercial or institutional grade equipment shall be provided.

B. Finishes shall be durable and easily cleanable. Electrical, plumbing, and ventilation shall be as described in Article 5 (6VAC15-81-980 et seq.) of this part.

C. The guidance for washer capacity is to provide 15 to 20 pounds of laundry per inmate per week. The minimum recommended ratio for dryer to washer load poundage shall be a minimum of 1.5 to 1.

D. There shall be sufficient storage for linen and laundry supplies. Separate lockable storage shall be provided for caustic, toxic, and flammable supplies.

E. Secure lockable storage shall be provided for chemical containers serving laundry machines.

F. All gas supply and exhaust venting on dryers shall be protected from exposure to and vandalism by inmates.

G. A janitor's closet and mop sink shall be located within the laundry for exclusive use in the laundry.

H. Consideration shall be given to providing a smoke removal system for the central laundry area.

I. Consideration shall be given to locating an emergency eye wash station in the central laundry area.

J. Consideration may be given to providing small load capacity laundry equipment in property storage, community custody, and minimum security housing areas in addition to the central laundry.

K. Provisions for future expansion 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.

6VAC15-81-820. Storage.

In addition to storage required for particular areas, the following shall be provided to accommodate facility design capacity at a minimum:

1. Storage for inmate clothing, linens, towels, etc.

2. Storage for recreation and related equipment located in or near indoor and outdoor recreation areas.

3. Secure storage for medical supplies and biohazard waste.

4. Storage for extra inmate mattresses and bunks.

5. Secure storage for janitorial supplies in janitorial closets located conveniently to areas serviced.

6. Secure storage for inmate records.

7. Storage space in the administration area for equipment, records, and supplies for established and projected population needs.

8. Staff uniforms and equipment.

9. Secure storage for evidence and contraband.

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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