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 3. Department of Corrections and Director of Corrections.

§ 53.1-8. Department of Corrections.

There shall be in the executive department a Department of Corrections responsible to the Governor. The Department shall be under the supervision and management of the Director.

Code 1950, § 53-19.5; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1982, c. 636; 2020, c. 759.

§ 53.1-9. Appointment of Director; term.

A Director of Corrections shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by each house of the General Assembly.

The Director shall be appointed for a term coincident with that of the Governor and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as original appointments are made.

Code 1950, §§ 53-19.6, 53-19.7; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-10. Powers and duties of Director.

The Director shall be the chief executive officer of the Department and shall have the following duties and powers:

1. To supervise and manage the Department and its system of state correctional facilities;

2. To implement the standards and goals of the Board as formulated for local and community correctional programs and facilities and lock-ups;

3. To employ such personnel and develop and implement such programs as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this title, subject to Chapter 29 (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) of Title 2.2, and within the limits of appropriations made therefor by the General Assembly;

4. To establish and maintain a general system of schools for persons committed to the institutions and community-based programs for adults as set forth in § 53.1-67.9. Such system shall include, as applicable, elementary, secondary, postsecondary, career and technical education, adult, and special education schools.

a. The Director shall employ a Superintendent who will oversee the operation of educational and vocational programs in all institutions and community-based programs for adults as set forth in § 53.1-67.9 operated by the Department. The Department shall be designated as a local education agency (LEA) but shall not be eligible to receive state funds appropriated for direct aid to public education.

b. When the Department employs a teacher licensed by the Board of Education to provide instruction in the schools of the correctional centers, the Department of Human Resource Management shall establish salary schedules for the teachers which endeavor to be competitive with those in effect for the school division in which the correctional center is located.

c. The Superintendent shall develop a functional literacy program for inmates testing below a selected grade level, which shall be at least at the twelfth grade level. The program shall include guidelines for implementation and test administration, participation requirements, criteria for satisfactory completion, and a strategic plan for encouraging enrollment at an institution of higher education or an accredited vocational training program or other accredited continuing education program.

d. For the purposes of this section, the term "functional literacy" shall mean those educational skills necessary to function independently in society, including, but not limited to, reading, writing, comprehension, and arithmetic computation.

e. In evaluating a prisoner's educational needs and abilities pursuant to § 53.1-32.1, the Superintendent shall create a system for identifying prisoners with learning disabilities.

5. a. To make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of the Department's duties and the execution of its powers under this title, including, but not limited to, contracts with the United States, other states, and agencies and governmental subdivisions of this Commonwealth, and contracts with corporations, partnerships, or individuals which include, but are not limited to, the purchase of water or wastewater treatment services or both as necessary for the expansion or construction of correctional facilities;

b. Notwithstanding the Director's discretion to make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of the Department's duties and the execution of its powers under this title, upon determining that it shall be desirable to contract with a public or private entity for the provision of community-based residential services pursuant to Chapter 5 (§ 53.1-177 et seq.), the Director shall notify the local governing body of the jurisdiction in which the facility is to be located of the proposal and of the facility's proposed location and provide notice, where requested, to the chief law-enforcement officer for such locality when an offender is placed in the facility at issue;

c. Notwithstanding the Director's discretion to make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of the Department's duties and the execution of its powers under this title, upon determining that it is necessary to transport Virginia prisoners through or to another state and for other states to transport their prisoners within the Commonwealth, the Director may execute reciprocal agreements with other states' corrections agencies governing such transports that shall include provisions allowing each state to retain authority over its prisoners while in the other state.

6. To accept, hold and enjoy gifts, donations and bequests on behalf of the Department from the United States government and agencies and instrumentalities thereof, and any other source, subject to the approval of the Governor. To these ends, the Director shall have the power to comply with such conditions and execute such agreements as may be necessary, convenient or desirable;

7. To collect data pertaining to the demographic characteristics of adults, and juveniles who are adjudicated as adults, incarcerated in state correctional institutions, including, but not limited to, the race or ethnicity, age, and gender of such persons, whether they are a member of a criminal gang, and the types of and extent to which health-related problems are prevalent among such persons. Beginning July 1, 1997, such data shall be collected, tabulated quarterly, and reported by the Director to the Governor and the General Assembly at each regular session of the General Assembly thereafter. The report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports;

8. To make application to the appropriate state and federal entities so as to provide any prisoner who is committed to the custody of the state a Department of Motor Vehicles approved identification card that would expire 90 days from issuance, a copy of his birth certificate if such person was born in the Commonwealth, and a social security card from the Social Security Administration;

9. To forward to the Commonwealth's Attorneys' Services Council, updated on a monthly basis, a list of all identified criminal gang members incarcerated in state correctional institutions. The list shall contain identifying information for each criminal gang member, as well as his criminal record;

10. To give notice, to the attorney for the Commonwealth prosecuting a defendant for an offense that occurred in a state correctional facility, of that defendant's known gang membership. The notice shall contain identifying information for each criminal gang member as well as his criminal record;

11. To designate employees of the Department with internal investigations authority to have the same power as a sheriff or a law-enforcement officer in the investigation of allegations of criminal behavior affecting the operations of the Department. Such employees shall be subject to any minimum training standards established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services under § 9.1-102 for law-enforcement officers prior to exercising any law-enforcement power granted under this subdivision. Nothing in this section shall be construed to grant the Department any authority over the operation and security of local jails not specified in any other provision of law. The Department shall investigate allegations of criminal behavior in accordance with a written agreement entered into with the Department of State Police. The Department shall not investigate any action falling within the authority vested in the Office of the State Inspector General pursuant to Chapter 3.2 (§ 2.2-307 et seq.) of Title 2.2 unless specifically authorized by the Office of the State Inspector General;

12. To prescribe and enforce rules prohibiting the possession of obscene materials, as defined in Article 5 (§ 18.2-372 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 18.2, by prisoners incarcerated in state correctional facilities;

13. To develop and administer a survey of each correctional officer, as defined in § 53.1-1, who resigns, is terminated, or is transitioned to a position other than correctional officer for the purpose of evaluating employment conditions and factors that contribute to or impede the retention of correctional officers;

14. To promulgate regulations pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) to effectuate the provisions of Chapter 5.1 (§ 32.1-162.16 et seq.) of Title 32.1 for human research, as defined in § 32.1-162.16, to be conducted or authorized by the Department. The regulations shall require the human research committee to submit to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Director or his designee at least annually a report on the human research projects reviewed and approved by the committee and shall require the committee to report any significant deviations from the proposals as approved; and

15. To provide, pursuant to § 24.2-314, to the Division of Legislative Services, not later than July 1 of any year in which the decennial census is taken and in a format specified by the Division of Legislative Services, information regarding each person incarcerated in a state correctional facility on April 1 of that year. Such information shall include, for each person incarcerated, (i) a unique identifier, other than his name or offender identification number, assigned by the Director; (ii) his residential street address at the time of incarceration, or other legal residence, if known; (iii) his race, his ethnicity as identified by him, and whether he is 18 years of age or older; and (iv) the street address of the correctional facility in which he was incarcerated on April 1 of that year.

Code 1950, §§ 53-19.8, 53-19.14; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1982, c. 636; 1994, 2nd Sp. Sess., c. 7; 1995, c. 725; 1997, c. 894; 2003, cc. 94, 516, 854; 2006, cc. 431, 500; 2007, c. 392; 2009, cc. 39, 621; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2013, cc. 143, 214; 2014, c. 84; 2015, cc. 99, 293; 2016, c. 205; 2019, c. 618; 2020, cc. 759, 1229, 1265.

§ 53.1-11. Bond of Director.

The Director shall give bond with corporate surety in such penalty as may be fixed by the Governor, conditioned upon faithful discharge of his duties. The premium on such bond shall be paid for as other expenses of the Department are paid.

Code 1950, § 53-19.10; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-12. Divisions of Department; division heads.

The Director shall establish in the Department such divisions and regional offices as may be necessary and shall appoint heads of these divisions and offices in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 29 (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) of Title 2.2.

Code 1950, §§ 53-19.11, 53-19.12; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1978, c. 555; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-13. Bonds of agents and employees.

Proper bonds shall be required of all agents and employees who handle any funds which come into custody of the Department. The premiums on the bonds shall be paid from funds appropriated to the Department.

Code 1950, § 53-19.16; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-14. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1984, c. 734.

§ 53.1-15. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2020, c. 759, cl. 2.

§ 53.1-16. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2011, cc. 798 and 871, cl. 2, effective July 1, 2012.

§ 53.1-17. Defense of Department of Corrections employees.

If any employee of the Department shall be brought before any regulatory or administrative body, summoned before any regular or special grand jury, or, arrested, indicted, or prosecuted on any charge arising out of any act committed in the discharge of his official duties, the Director may, with the approval of the Governor, pay in whole or in part, counsel employed by such employee to represent him, provided he is neither convicted nor terminated from his employment. Such compensation shall be paid from funds appropriated to the Department.

Code 1950, §§ 53-16.1, 53-19.19; 1958, c. 542; 1970, c. 648; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1976, c. 517; 1982, c. 636; 1989, c. 298.

§ 53.1-17.1. Continuous quality improvement committee; report.

A. The Director shall establish a health care continuous quality improvement committee, which shall be composed of the Director, or his designee, and at least one of each of the following: a health services director, physician, nurse, dentist, mental health director, pharmacist, psychiatrist, specialist in infection control, and grievance counselor employed by the Department. The committee shall (i) identify appropriate criteria for evaluation of the quality of health care services provided by the Department, (ii) monitor and evaluate the quality of health care services provided by the Department utilizing the criteria identified, and (iii) develop strategies to improve the quality of health care services provided by the Department.

B. Beginning July 1, 2020, the committee established pursuant to subsection A shall publish quarterly continuous quality improvement reports setting forth such data and information as the committee shall deem appropriate on a website maintained by the Department. Each facility shall submit quarterly continuous quality improvement reports containing such data and information as may be required by the committee at such times as may be required by the committee, for inclusion in the committee's quarterly continuous quality improvement report.

2019, cc. 320, 463.