Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 53.1. Prisons and Other Methods of Correction
Chapter 1. Administration Generally
11/26/2020

§ 53.1-1.2. Visitation policies.

The following procedures regarding individuals who are physically present at a state correctional facility for the purpose of visiting a prisoner shall apply:

1. Upon entry into a state correctional facility, visitors shall be informed of the items that they are not permitted to bring into the facility and the items that they are permitted to bring into the facility.

2. If an item that is otherwise legal for the visitor to possess is not permitted in the facility, the item may be placed in the possession of facility employees, if the facility is able to store such item, for the duration of the visit and returned to the visitor upon leaving the facility.

3. If equipment is available, visitors shall be scanned or wanded by an electronic scanning or detection device, or both.

4. If detector canines are available, visitors shall be subjected to a detector canine search.

5. If the detector canine search, scanning, or wanding does not indicate any contraband and the visitor is otherwise eligible to visit, the visitor shall be allowed a visit with the prisoner that allows personal contact.

6. If the detector canine search, scanning, or wanding indicates the possibility of contraband, the visitor shall have the option of consenting to a search of his person. If the visitor does not consent to a search of his person after only a detector canine search indicates the possibility of contraband and the visitor is otherwise eligible to visit, he shall be allowed a visit with the prisoner that does not allow personal contact. If the visitor does not consent to a search of his person after scanning or wanding indicates the possibility of contraband, the Department may deny the visitor entry into the facility in accordance with the operating procedures regarding visiting privileges as authorized by § 53.1-30.

7. A visitor shall be allowed to leave the correctional facility and discontinue the search process prior to the discovery of contraband. A visitor shall not be barred from future visits because he stops a search prior to the discovery of contraband or refuses to consent to a search of his person, including refusing to consent to a strip search or a search of any body cavity. Correctional facility personnel shall not use the search procedure or search results as a threat to bar future visits. The superintendent, warden, or other official in charge of the facility shall ensure that correctional facility personnel do not use the search procedure or search results as a threat to bar future visits.

2020, c. 1170.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.