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. Establishment and Regulation of Facilities.

§ 53.1-68. Minimum standards for local correctional facilities and lock-ups; health inspections, behavioral health services inspections, and personnel.

A. The Board shall establish minimum standards for the construction, equipment, administration, and operation of local correctional facilities, whether heretofore or hereafter established. However, no minimum standard shall be established that includes square footage requirements in excess of accepted national standards. The Board or its agents shall conduct at least one unannounced inspection of each local facility annually. However, in those years in which a certification audit of a facility is performed and the facility is in compliance with all the standards, the Board may elect to suspend the unannounced inspection based upon that certification audit and the history of compliance of the facility with the standards promulgated in accordance with this section, except in any year in which there is a change in the administration of a local or regional jail. The Board shall also establish minimum standards for the construction, equipment, and operation of lock-ups, whether heretofore or hereafter established. However, no minimum standard shall be established that includes square footage requirements in excess of accepted national standards.

B. Standards concerning sanitation in local correctional facilities and procedures for enforcing these standards shall be promulgated by the Board with the advice and guidance of the State Health Commissioner. The Board, in conjunction with the Board of Health, shall establish a procedure for the conduct of at least one unannounced annual health inspection by the State Health Commissioner or his agents of each local correctional facility. The Board and the State Health Commissioner may authorize such other announced or unannounced inspections as they consider appropriate.

C. The Board shall establish minimum standards for behavioral health services in local correctional facilities and procedures for enforcing such minimum standards, with the advice of and guidance from the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and the State Inspector General.

Such standards shall include:

1. Requirements for behavioral health services provided in jails, including requirements for (i) behavioral health screening of individuals committed to local correctional facilities; (ii) referral of individuals committed to local correctional facilities for whom a behavioral health screening indicates reason to believe the person may have mental illness to a behavioral health service provider for a behavioral health assessment; and (iii) the provision of behavioral health services in local correctional facilities, as well as regulations directing the sharing of medical and mental health information and records in accordance with § 53.1-133.03. Requirements related to behavioral health screenings and assessments shall include a requirement that in cases in which there is reason to believe an individual is experiencing acute mental health distress or is at risk for suicide, (a) staff of the local correctional facility shall consult with the behavioral health service provider to implement immediate interventions and shall provide ongoing monitoring to ensure the safety of the individual and (b) the behavioral health assessment shall be completed within 72 hours of completion of the behavioral health screening, except that if the 72-hour period ends on a day that is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the assessment shall be completed by the close of business on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday;

2. Requirements for discharge planning for individuals with serious mental illness assessed as requiring behavioral health services upon release from the local correctional facility, which shall include (i) creation of a discharge plan, as soon as practicable after completion of the assessment required pursuant to subdivision 1, and (ii) coordination of services and care with community providers, community supervision agencies, and, as appropriate, the individual's family in accordance with the discharge plan until such time as the individual has begun to receive services in accordance with the discharge plan or for a period of 30 days following release from the local correctional facility, whichever occurs sooner. Discharge plans shall ensure access to the full continuum of care for the individual upon release from the local correctional facility and shall include provisions for (a) linking the individual for whom the discharge plan has been prepared to the community services board in the jurisdiction in which he will reside following release and to other supports and services necessary to meet his service needs and (b) communication of information regarding the individual's treatment needs and exchange of treatment records among service providers;

3. A requirement for at least one unannounced annual inspection of each local correctional facility by the Board or its agents to determine compliance with the standards for behavioral health services established pursuant to this subsection and such other announced or unannounced inspections as the Board may deem necessary to ensure compliance with the standards for behavioral health services established pursuant to this subsection; and

4. Provisions for the billing of the sheriff in charge of a local correctional facility or superintendent of a regional correctional facility by and payment by such sheriff or superintendent to a community services board that provides behavioral health services in the local correctional facility, in accordance with § 53.1-126.

D. The Department of Criminal Justice Services, in accordance with § 9.1-102, shall establish minimum training standards for persons designated to provide courthouse and courtroom security pursuant to the provisions of § 53.1-120 and for persons employed as jail officers or custodial officers under the provisions of this title. The sheriff shall establish minimum performance standards and management practices to govern the employees for whom the sheriff is responsible.

E. The superintendent of a regional jail or jail farm shall establish minimum performance standards and management practices to govern the employees for whom the superintendent is responsible.

Code 1950, § 53-133; 1982, c. 636; 1991, c. 383; 1992, c. 179; 1994, c. 861; 1995, c. 797; 1997, c. 644; 2000, c. 256; 2019, c. 827; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 179.

§ 53.1-69. Board may prohibit confinement and require transfer of prisoners in substandard facilities.

The Board is authorized to limit, by its order, the confinement of prisoners in any local correctional facility or lock-up, which is not constructed, equipped, maintained and operated so as to comply with minimum standards prescribed by the Board, either by prohibiting confinement of any prisoners in such local correctional facility or lock-up, or by limiting the maximum number of prisoners to be confined therein, as the Board deems appropriate. The Board may designate some other local correctional facility or lock-up in or at which shall be confined persons who otherwise would have been confined in the facility subject to the Board's order. Copies of each order shall, upon being issued, be sent to the officer in charge of the facilities affected, to the governing bodies of the counties, cities and towns affected and to the judge of the circuit court of each county and city in which are located the local correctional facilities or lock-ups affected.

Code 1950, § 53-134; 1981, c. 487; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-69.1. Review of death of inmates in local correctional facilities.

A. The Board shall have the power to review the death of any inmate who was incarcerated in a local correctional facility at the time of his death in order to determine (i) the circumstances surrounding the inmate's death, including identifying any act or omission by the facility or any employee or agent thereof that may have directly or indirectly contributed to the inmate's death, and (ii) whether the facility was in compliance with the regulations promulgated by the Board.

B. Any review conducted pursuant to this section shall be conducted in accordance with the policies and procedures for such review developed and implemented by the Board in accordance with subdivision 5 of § 53.1-5. In conducting a review pursuant to this section, the Board may exercise its power under § 53.1-6 to hold and conduct hearings, issue subpoenas, and administer oaths and take testimony thereunder. If the Board determines that it cannot adequately conduct any particular review pursuant to this section because of the conduct by the Board of another ongoing review, the Board may request that the Department assist in the conduct of such review. Department staff conducting a review pursuant to this section shall be considered agents of the Board.

C. If the Board determines during the conduct of any review pursuant to this section that it is necessary to review the operation of an entity other than the local correctional facility in order to complete the review, the Board shall request that the Office of the State Inspector General review the operation of such entity if such entity falls 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. Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of the Office of the State Inspector General to exercise any of the powers and duties set forth in Chapter 3.2 (§ 2.2-307 et seq.) of Title 2.2.

D. Upon completion of any review conducted pursuant to this section, the Board shall prepare a detailed report of the findings of any review, which shall be submitted to the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, and the President pro tempore of the Senate. Such report may contain recommendations for changes to the minimum standards for the construction, equipment, administration, and operation of local correctional facilities in order to prevent problems, abuses, and deficiencies in and improve the effectiveness of such facilities. In addition, the Board may issue any order authorized under § 53.1-69 to correct any failure by the facility to comply with the Board's regulations. Except as otherwise required by law, the Board shall maintain the confidentiality of any confidential records or information obtained from a facility during the course of a review in accordance with state and federal law.

E. The Board shall publish an annual report summarizing the reviews conducted by the Board within that year. Such report shall include any trends or similarities among the deaths of inmates in local correctional facilities and present recommendations on policy changes to reduce the number of deaths in local correctional facilities. The Board shall publish such report on its website and submit the report to the Governor, the Chairmen of the Senate Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services and the House Committee on Public Safety, the Chair of the House Committee for Courts of Justice, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, and the President pro tempore of the Senate.

2017, c. 759; 2020, c. 1287.

§ 53.1-69.2. Administrative appeal of Board determinations.

If the Board determines that a local correctional facility is not in compliance with the minimum standards for construction, equipment, administration, or operation of local correctional facilities, the Board shall provide written notice of such determination to the local correctional facility. The local correctional facility may appeal the Board's determination. Any local correctional facility that appeals such a determination by the Board shall provide written notice of its request for an appeal to the Board within 30 days of the date upon which the facility received written notice of the Board's determination of noncompliance. Such appeal shall be conducted in accordance with Article 3 (§ 2.2-4018 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

2020, c. 759.

§ 53.1-70. Jurisdiction of court to enforce orders of Board; proceedings.

Any circuit court in any county or city which maintains and operates any local correctional facility or lock-up, or in any county in which is situated any town which maintains and operates any local correctional facility or lock-up, affected by any such order of the Board, shall have jurisdiction to enforce such order by an injunction or other appropriate remedy at the suit of the Board. In the City of Richmond such jurisdiction shall be vested in the Circuit Court, Division I. Such proceeding shall be commenced by a petition of the Board in the name of the Commonwealth and shall, insofar as possible, conform to rules of procedure applicable to a civil action. The governing body of each county, city or town which maintains and operates any local correctional facility or lock-up affected by the order of the Board, and the officer in charge of each such facility, shall be made parties defendant. In every such proceeding the court shall hear all relevant evidence, including evidence with regard to the condition of the local correctional facility or lock-up and any other evidence bearing upon the propriety of the Board's action. The court may refuse to grant the injunction if it appears that the action of the Board was not warranted.

Code 1950, § 53-135; 1982, c. 636; 2005, c. 681.

§ 53.1-70.1. Transport of prisoners; authority.

A. The sheriff or administrator in charge of a local or regional correctional facility where a prisoner is incarcerated and employees of such facility acting on the direction of such sheriff or administrator shall have the authority to transport the prisoner to another jurisdiction inside the Commonwealth for any lawful purpose and to retain authority over such prisoner.

B. Any person authorized to transport a prisoner under subsection A who has the need to travel with a prisoner through or to another state is authorized to travel through or to such state and retain authority over such prisoner as allowed by such state.

2016, c. 579.

§ 53.1-71. Courts to order jails erected and repaired.

When it shall appear to the circuit court of any county or city that there is no jail therein or that the jail of such county or city is insecure, out of repair or otherwise inadequate, it shall be the duty of such court to award a rule in the name of the Commonwealth against the governing body of the county or city to show cause why a writ of mandamus should not issue commanding the governing body to erect a jail for the county or city, or to cause the existing jail of such county or city to be made secure, put in good repair, or rendered otherwise adequate, as the case may be.

Code 1950, § 53-129; 1982, c. 636.