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

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 53.1-1. Definitions.

As used in this title, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Board" or "State Board" means the State Board of Local and Regional Jails.

"Community correctional facility" means any group home, halfway house or other physically unrestricting facility used for the housing, treatment or care of adult offenders established or operated with funds appropriated to the Department of Corrections from the state treasury and maintained or operated by any political subdivision, combination of political subdivisions or privately operated agency within the Commonwealth.

"Community supervision" means probation, parole, postrelease supervision, programs authorized under the Comprehensive Community Corrections Act for local responsible offenders, and programs authorized under Article 7 (§ 53.1-128 et seq.) of Chapter 3.

"Correctional officer" means a duly sworn employee of the Department of Corrections whose normal duties relate to maintaining immediate control, supervision and custody of prisoners confined in any state correctional facility.

"Department" means the Department of Corrections.

"Deputy sheriff" means a duly sworn officer appointed by a sheriff pursuant to § 15.2-1603 whose normal duties include, but are not limited to, maintaining immediate control, supervision and custody of prisoners confined in any local correctional facility and may include those duties of a jail officer.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Corrections.

"Jail officer" means a duly sworn employee of a local correctional facility, except for deputy sheriffs, whose normal duties relate to maintaining immediate control, supervision and custody of prisoners confined in any local correctional facility. This definition in no way limits any authority otherwise granted to a duly sworn deputy sheriff whose duties may include those of a jail officer.

"Local correctional facility" means any jail, jail farm or other place used for the detention or incarceration of adult offenders, excluding a lock-up, which is owned, maintained or operated by any political subdivision or combination of political subdivisions of the Commonwealth.

"Lock-up" means a facility whose primary use is to detain persons for a short period of time as determined by the Board.

"State correctional facility" means any correctional center or correctional field unit used for the incarceration of adult offenders established and operated by the Department of Corrections, or operated under contract pursuant to § 53.1-262. This term shall include "penitentiary" whenever used in this title or other titles of the Code.

Code 1950, §§ 53-9, 53-19.5, 53-19.18, 53-19.18:1, 53-19.23; 1966, c. 300; 1970, c. 648; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1976, cc. 740, 756; 1977, c. 187; 1981, c. 487; 1982, c. 636; 1983, c. 477; 1991, c. 383; 1995, c. 224; 1999, c. 845; 2000, c. 807; 2020, c. 759.

§ 53.1-1.01. Certified mail; subsequent mail or notices may be sent by regular mail.

Whenever in this title the Board or the Department is required to send any mail or notice by certified mail and such mail or notice is sent certified mail, return receipt requested, then any subsequent, identical mail or notice that is sent by the Board or the Department may be sent by regular mail.

2011, c. 566.

§ 53.1-1.1. Telephone systems within correctional facilities.

The Department of Corrections shall offer debit or prepaid telephone systems, in addition to any existing collect calling systems, which allow telephone calls to be placed to the telephone number or numbers on an approved call list. Such telephone systems may be established with the lowest available rates.

2005, c. 612.

§ 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.