Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 53.1. Prisons and Other Methods of Correction
Chapter 3. Local Correctional Facilities
12/6/2022

Article 1.1. Private Operation of Regional Jail Facilities.

§ 53.1-71.1. Private construction, operation, etc., of regional jail facility.

A. Any regional jail authority constituted pursuant to Article 3.1 (§ 53.1-95.2 et seq.) or 5 (§ 53.1-105 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 53.1 may contract with a private entity for the financing, site selection, acquisition, construction, maintenance, leasing, management, or operation of a regional jail facility.

B. Any project authorized pursuant to subsection A of this section shall be subject to the requirements and limitations set out below:

1. Contracts entered into under the terms of this article shall be with an entity submitting an acceptable response pursuant to a request for proposals. An acceptable response shall be one which meets all the requirements in the request for proposals. However, no contract for correctional services may be entered into unless the private contractor demonstrates that it has:

a. The qualifications, experience and management personnel necessary to carry out the terms of this contract;

b. The financial resources to provide indemnification for liability arising from jail management projects;

c. Evidence of past performance of similar contracts; and

d. The ability to comply with all applicable federal and state constitutional standards; federal, state, and local laws; court orders; and correctional standards.

2. Contracts awarded under the provisions of this article, including contracts for the provision of correctional services or for the lease or use of public lands or buildings for use in the operation of facilities, may be entered into for a period of up to thirty years, subject to the requirements for expenditure of funds by the local governing bodies.

3. No contract for correctional services shall be entered into which would adversely affect the tax-exempt status of obligations issued or to be issued to finance the facility, and unless the following requirements are met:

a. The contractor provides audited financial statements for the previous five years or for each of the years the contractor has been in operation, if fewer than five years, and provides other financial information as requested; and

b. The contractor provides an adequate plan of indemnification, specifically including indemnity for civil rights claims. The indemnification plan shall be adequate to protect the combination of counties or cities and public officials from all claims and losses incurred as a result of the contract. The indemnification plan shall include liability insurance in limits of not less than five million dollars. Nothing herein is intended to deprive a regional jail facility contractor or the combination of counties or cities of the benefits of any law limiting exposure to liability or setting a limit on damages.

4. No contract for correctional services shall be executed unless:

a. The proposed contract has been reviewed and approved by the Board;

b. An appropriation for the services to be provided under the contract has been expressly approved as is otherwise provided by law;

c. The correctional services proposed by the contract are of at least the same quality as those routinely provided by a regional jail facility to similar types of inmates; and

d. An evaluation of the proposed contract demonstrates a cost benefit to the combination of counties or cities when compared to alternative means of providing the services through governmental agencies.

1994, c. 715.

§ 53.1-71.2. Authority of security employees.

Security employees of a regional jail facility contractor shall be allowed to use force and shall exercise their powers and authority only while on the grounds of a regional jail facility under the supervision of the regional jail facility contractor, while transporting inmates, and while pursuing escapees from such facilities until such time that the pursuit of the escapees is assumed by state or local law-enforcement agencies. All provisions of law pertaining to custodians of inmates or jail guards or officers shall apply to contractors' security employees.

1994, c. 715.

§ 53.1-71.3. Application of certain criminal laws to contractor-operated facilities.

All provisions of law establishing penalties for offenses committed against custodians of inmates or jail guards or officers shall apply mutatis mutandis to offenses committed by or with regard to inmates assigned to facilities or programs for which a regional jail facility contractor is providing correctional services.

1994, c. 715.

§ 53.1-71.4. Powers and duties not delegable to contractor.

The regional jail authority issuing the contract shall retain the authority and responsibility for the rules and procedures as they apply to the treatment of prisoners, and no contract for correctional services shall authorize, allow, or imply a delegation of authority or responsibility to a regional jail facility contractor for any of the following:

1. Developing and implementing procedures for calculating inmate release dates;

2. Developing and implementing procedures for calculating and awarding sentence credits;

3. Approving inmates for furlough and work release;

4. Approving the type of work inmates may perform and the wages or sentence credits which may be given the inmates engaging in such work;

5. Granting, denying, or revoking sentence credits;

6. Classifying inmates or placing inmates in less restrictive custody or more restrictive custody;

7. Transferring an inmate; however, the contractor may make written recommendations regarding the transfer of an inmate or inmates;

8. Formulating rules of inmate behavior, violations of which may subject inmates to sanctions; however, the contractor may propose such rules for review and adoption, rejection, or modification as otherwise provided by law or regulation; and

9. Disciplining inmates in any manner which requires a discretionary application of rules of inmate behavior or a discretionary imposition of a sanction for violations of such rules.

1994, c. 715.

§ 53.1-71.5. Board to promulgate regulations.

The Board shall make, adopt and promulgate regulations governing the following aspects of private management and operation of regional jail facilities:

1. Minimum standards for the construction, equipment, administration and operation of the facilities; however, the standards shall be at least as stringent as those established for local correctional facilities;

2. Contingency plans for operation of a contractor-operated facility in the event of a termination of the contract;

3. Use of deadly and nondeadly force by regional jail facility contractors' security personnel;

4. Methods of monitoring a contractor-operated facility by an appropriate state or local governmental entity or entities;

5. Public access to a contractor-operated facility; and

6. Such other regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.

1994, c. 715.

§ 53.1-71.6. State reimbursement to localities.

A. Reimbursement to participating localities for the cost of construction shall be made pursuant to Article 3 (§ 53.1-80 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 53.1.

B. The manner of state payment to the localities for the care and custody costs at the facility of persons accused or convicted of any offense against the laws of the Commonwealth shall be as provided in the general appropriation act. Such payments shall include only the reasonable costs of guarding and providing necessary housing, maintenance, administrative expenses, food, clothing, medicine and medical attention for such prisoners. However, in no event shall the payment to the localities, when calculated on a per diem per prisoner basis, exceed the total cost ordinarily paid by the Commonwealth to a locality for prisoner care and custody expenses, when calculated on a per diem per prisoner basis.

1994, c. 715.