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 6. Duties of Sheriffs.

§ 53.1-116. What records and policy jailer shall keep; how time deducted or added for felons and misdemeanants; payment of fine and costs by person committed to jail until he pays.

A. The jailer shall keep a (i) record describing each person committed to jail, the terms of confinement, for what offense or cause he was committed, and when received into jail; (ii) record of each prisoner; and (iii) written policy stating the criteria for and conditions of earned credit in the facility and the revocation of such credit.

Unless he is serving a mandatory minimum sentence of confinement, each prisoner sentenced to 12 months or less for a misdemeanor or any combination of misdemeanors shall earn good conduct credit at the rate of one day for each one day served, including all days served while confined in jail prior to conviction and sentencing, in which the prisoner has not violated the written rules and regulations of the jail.

Prisoners eligible for parole under § 53.1-151, 53.1-152 or 53.1-153 shall earn good conduct credit at a rate of 15 days for each 30 days served with satisfactory conduct.

The jailer may grant the prisoner additional credits for performance of institutional work assignments, participation in classes, or participation in local work force programs, if available at the facility, at the rate of five days for every 30 days served. The time so deducted shall be allowed to each prisoner for such time as he is confined in jail. It shall be the responsibility of the jailer in each facility to determine the manner in which these additional credits may be awarded and to include this information in the written policy mandated by clause (iii) of this subsection.

For each violation of the rules prescribed herein, the time so deducted shall be added until it equals the full sentence imposed upon the prisoner by the court.

However, any prisoner committed to jail upon a felony offense committed on or after January 1, 1995, shall not earn good conduct credit, sentence credit, earned sentence credit, other credit, or a combination of any credits in excess of that permissible under Article 4 (§ 53.1-202.2 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of this title. So much of an order of any court contrary to the provisions of this section shall be deemed null and void.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 19.2-350, in the event a person who was committed to jail to be therein confined until he pays a fine imposed on him by the court in which he was tried should desire to pay such fine and costs, he may pay the same to the person in charge of the jail. The person receiving such moneys shall execute and deliver an official receipt therefor and shall promptly transmit the amount so paid to the clerk of the court which imposed the fine and costs. Such clerk shall give him an official receipt therefor and shall properly record the receipt of such moneys.

C. The administrator of a local or regional jail shall not assign a person to a home/electronic incarceration program pursuant to subsection C of § 53.1-131.2 in a locality which has a jail operated by a sheriff, without the consent of the sheriff.

Code 1950, § 53-151; 1952, c. 218; 1972, c. 293; 1981, c. 278; 1982, c. 636; 1983, c. 561; 1984, c. 643; 1990, c. 934; 1994, 2nd Sp. Sess., cc. 1, 2; 1996, c. 556; 1998, c. 776; 1999, cc. 951, 1007; 2003, cc. 818, 820; 2004, cc. 400, 461; 2011, c. 491.

§ 53.1-116.1. Jailer to give notice of release of certain prisoners.

A. Prior to the release or discharge of any prisoner for whom registration with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry is required pursuant to Chapter 9 (§ 9.1-900 et seq.) of Title 9.1, the sheriff, jail superintendent or other jail administrator shall give notice to the prisoner of his duty to register with the State Police. A person required to register shall register, submit to be photographed as part of the registration, and provide information regarding place of employment, if available, to the sheriff, jail superintendent or other jail administrator. The sheriff, jail superintendent or other jail administrator shall also obtain from that person all necessary registration information, including fingerprints and photographs of a type and kind approved by the Department of State Police; inform the person of his duties regarding reregistration and change of address; and inform the person of his duty to register. The sheriff, jail superintendent or other jail administrator shall forthwith forward the registration information to the Department of State Police on the date of the prisoner's release.

B. Whenever a person required to register has failed to comply with the provisions of subsection A, the sheriff, jail superintendent or other jail administrator shall promptly investigate or request the State Police to promptly investigate and, if there is probable cause to believe a violation has occurred, obtain a warrant or assist in obtaining an indictment charging a violation of § 18.2-472.1 in the jurisdiction in which the person was discharged. The sheriff, jail superintendent or other jail administrator shall notify the State Police forthwith of such actions taken pursuant to this section.

C. The sheriff, jail superintendent, or other jail administrator shall notify the State Police immediately upon discovering the escape of any prisoner for whom registration with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry is required pursuant to Chapter 9 (§ 9.1-900 et seq.) of Title 9.1.

1994, c. 362; 1997, c. 747; 2003, c. 584; 2006, cc. 857, 914; 2010, c. 858.

§ 53.1-116.1:01. Jailer to give notice of intake of certain prisoners.

A. At the time of intake of any prisoner, for whom registration with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry is required pursuant to Chapter 9 (§ 9.1-900 et seq.) of Title 9.1, the sheriff, jail superintendent or other jail administrator shall also obtain from that person all necessary registration information, including fingerprints and photographs of a type and kind approved by the Department of State Police. A person required to register shall register, and submit to be photographed as part of the registration. The sheriff, jail superintendent or other jail administrator shall forthwith forward the registration information to the Department of State Police on the date of the prisoner's intake.

B. Whenever a person required to register has failed to comply with the provisions of subsection A, the sheriff, jail superintendent or other jail administrator shall promptly investigate or request the State Police promptly investigate and, if there is probable cause to believe a violation has occurred, obtain a warrant or assist in obtaining an indictment charging a violation of § 18.2-472.1 in the jurisdiction in which the person was discharged. The sheriff, jail superintendent or other jail administrator shall notify the State Police forthwith of such actions taken pursuant to this section.

2006, cc. 857, 914.

§ 53.1-116.1:02. Jailer-issued identification.

Prior to the release or discharge of any prisoner who has been confined for at least 90 days and does not possess a government-issued identification card, birth certificate, and Social Security card, the sheriff, jail superintendent, or other jail administrator shall provide the assistance necessary for such prisoner to apply for and obtain such identification and documents prior to his release or discharge, provided that the sheriff, superintendent, or administrator has or can readily obtain all records and information necessary for their issuance and the prisoner has not declined an offer by the sheriff, superintendent, or administrator to provide such assistance. If the sheriff, jail superintendent, or other jail administrator receives a government-issued identification card, birth certificate, or Social Security card for a prisoner after his release or discharge, the sheriff, superintendent, or administrator shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the prisoner obtains possession of such identification or document. The sheriff, jail superintendent, or other jail administrator may establish a procedure for securing such identification through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Unless the prisoner has funds in his account to cover all or part of the costs and fees associated with applying for and obtaining any identification or documents pursuant to this section, such costs shall be paid by the jail.

2010, c. 856; 2020, cc. 484, 523.

§ 53.1-116.2. Sheriffs to be keepers of jails.

The sheriff of each county or city shall be the keeper of the jail thereof unless that locality is a member of a jail or jail farm board or regional jail authority, in which case the provisions of § 53.1-106 shall apply.

1994, c. 491.

§ 53.1-116.3. Improper release; capias, arrest and hearing.

The sheriff or jail superintendent or his designee, upon the discovery of an improper release or discharge of a prisoner from custody, shall report such release or discharge to the sentencing court. The court shall then for good cause shown issue a capias for the arrest of the prisoner which may be executed by any duly sworn jail officer or law-enforcement officer. Such capias shall direct that the prisoner be presented forthwith to the court to determine the propriety of the original discharge or release. After a hearing, if the court is satisfied that the original release or discharge was made improperly, the prisoner shall be returned to the jail facility from which he was released or discharged.

1997, c. 127.

§ 53.1-117. Violations of rules to be recorded in register.

Every time any prisoner in jail is guilty of a violation of the rules so prescribed, the name of the prisoner, the rules which he has violated and the time when each violation occurred shall be recorded in a register provided for that purpose.

Code 1950, § 53-152; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-118. Courts to fine sheriffs for failure to perform duties.

If it appears to the circuit court having jurisdiction that the sheriff or jail superintendent has in any respect failed to perform his duties with respect to the operation of the jail, the court may, after summoning him to show cause against it, summarily fine him not more than fifty dollars.

Code 1950, § 53-161; 1970, c. 648; 1982, c. 636; 1991, c. 383.

§ 53.1-119. Court duties of sheriff.

The sheriff shall provide officers to attend the courts within his jurisdiction while such courts are in session as the respective judges may require. The sheriff, or the superintendent of a regional jail or jail farm, shall receive into the jail facility all persons committed by the order of such courts, or under process issuing therefrom, and all persons committed by any other lawful authority.

Code 1950, § 53-162; 1982, c. 636; 1995, c. 112.

§ 53.1-120. Sheriff to provide for courthouse and courtroom security; designation of deputies for such purpose; assessment.

A. Each sheriff shall ensure that the courthouses and courtrooms within his jurisdiction are secure from violence and disruption and shall designate deputies for this purpose. A list of such designations shall be forwarded to the Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services.

B. The chief circuit court judge, the chief general district court judge and the chief juvenile and domestic relations district court judge shall be responsible by agreement with the sheriff of the jurisdiction for the designation of courtroom security deputies for their respective courts. If the respective chief judges and sheriff are unable to agree on the number, type and working schedules of courtroom security deputies for the court, the matter shall be referred to the Compensation Board for resolution in accordance with existing budgeted funds and personnel.

C. The sheriff shall have the sole responsibility for the identity of the deputies designated for courtroom security.

D. Any county or city, through its governing body, may assess a sum not in excess of $20 as part of the costs in each criminal or traffic case in its district or circuit court in which the defendant is convicted of a violation of any statute or ordinance. If a town provides court facilities for a county, the governing body of the county shall return to the town a portion of the assessments collected based on the number of criminal and traffic cases originating and heard in the town. The imposition of such assessment shall be by ordinance of the governing body that may provide for different sums in the circuit courts and district courts. The assessment shall be collected by the clerk of the court in which the case is heard, remitted to the treasurer of the appropriate county or city and held by such treasurer to be appropriated by the governing body to the sheriff's office. The assessment shall be used solely for the funding of courthouse security personnel, and, if requested by the sheriff, equipment and other personal property used in connection with courthouse security.

Code 1950, § 53-168.1; 1972, c. 135; 1982, c. 636; 1986, c. 568; 1988, c. 119; 1989, c. 571; 2002, cc. 533, 756; 2003, cc. 26, 44; 2004, cc. 390, 432; 2006, c. 495; 2007, c. 377; 2020, c. 602.

§ 53.1-121. Sheriffs to make daily reports to Compensation Board; failure to send report.

The sheriff shall report each day to the Compensation Board, giving the record of each prisoner received during the preceding day in an electronic format approved by the Compensation Board, stating whether the offense is for violation of state law or of city or town ordinance.

If any sheriff fails to send such report, the Compensation Board shall notify the sheriff of such failure. If the sheriff fails to make the report within ten days, then the Compensation Board shall cause the report to be prepared from the books of the sheriff and shall certify the cost thereof to the Comptroller. The Comptroller shall issue his warrant on the Treasurer for that amount, deducting the same from any funds that may be due the sheriff by the Commonwealth.

The computer-generated report shall be authenticated by both the chief jailer and the sheriff who shall certify the accuracy of the report. Either authenticator found guilty of willfully falsifying the information contained in such report shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 53-169; 1972, c. 573; 1982, c. 636; 1983, c. 358; 1996, c. 288; 1998, cc. 204, 350; 2006, cc. 857, 914.

§ 53.1-122. Daily records of sheriffs and jail superintendents.

Each sheriff and jail superintendent shall keep a daily record showing the total number of prisoners confined in the jail of his county or city, the number of prisoners admitted, the number released and the time of each such admittance and release. Such records shall show such information separately as to the prisoners of the Commonwealth, of each county, city or town, of the United States, and of any other state or country.

Code 1950, § 53-170; 1982, c. 636; 1991, c. 383.

§ 53.1-123. Other accounts, information and records as required by Department.

Sheriffs and jail superintendents shall keep such other accounts and records and furnish to the Department such information and reports as may be required by the Department.

Code 1950, § 53-171; 1982, c. 636; 1991, c. 383.

§ 53.1-124. Sheriffs and jail superintendents to report to the courts.

A. If requested by the judge, the sheriffs of all local jails and the jail superintendents of all regional jails of this Commonwealth shall, on the first day of each term of the circuit court, make written reports to the judge thereof, to the attorney for the Commonwealth, and to city attorneys whose duties include prosecuting certain cases, showing the number of prisoners in jail on that day. The report shall show the name, date of commitment, offense and sentence of each prisoner. The judge of such court, after examining the report, shall enter an order directing the clerk to file the same in the clerk's office of such court.

B. If requested by the chief judge of the circuit court, general district court or juvenile and domestic relations district court, the sheriffs of all local jails and the jail superintendents of all regional jails of the Commonwealth shall report semimonthly to the circuit court, general district court, and juvenile and domestic relations district court, to the attorney for the Commonwealth, and to the public defender, if any, as established in Article 3.1 (§ 19.2-163.01 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of Title 19.2, showing the number of prisoners in jail on that day awaiting trial. The report shall include the name, offense, date of commitment to jail, and amount of bail established.

C. If requested by the judge, the sheriffs of all local jails and the jail superintendents of all regional jails shall report weekly to the juvenile and domestic relations district court located within that county, city or region concerning the identity and number of juveniles kept in their jails and the length of time such juveniles have been incarcerated therein.

Code 1950, § 53-172; 1976, c. 248; 1982, c. 636; 1990, c. 934; 1991, cc. 218, 383; 2004, cc. 884, 921.

§ 53.1-125. Failure of sheriffs or jail superintendents to comply with requirements of board; filing of complaint; withholding salary.

If any sheriff or jail superintendent through his default or neglect fails to comply with the requirements of the Board in the operation and management of any jail under his control or management, the Board shall file a complaint with the circuit court of the county or city in which such jail is located, giving ten days' notice to the sheriff or jail superintendent that on a date fixed in the notice the court will conduct a hearing on the complaint. If the court is of the opinion that the complaint is justified, it shall enter an order directing the State Compensation Board to withhold approval of the payment of any further salary to the sheriff or jail superintendent until there has been compliance with specified requirements of the Board. If the court is of the opinion that the charges are unfounded, the complaint shall be dismissed.

Code 1950, § 53-173; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1982, c. 636; 1991, c. 383.

§ 53.1-126. Responsibility of sheriffs and jail superintendents for food, clothing and medicine.

The sheriff or jail superintendent shall purchase at prices as low as reasonably possible all foodstuffs and other provisions used in the feeding of jail prisoners and such clothing and medicine as may be necessary. Nothing herein shall be construed to require a sheriff, jail superintendent or a locality to pay for the medical treatment of an inmate for any injury, illness, or condition that existed prior to the inmate's commitment to a local or regional facility, except that medical treatment shall not be withheld for any communicable diseases, serious medical needs, or life threatening conditions. Invoices or itemized statements of account from each vendor of such foodstuffs, provisions, clothing and medicines shall be obtained by the sheriff or jail superintendent and presented for payment to the governing body of the city or county or, in the case of regional jails, the regional jail authority or, if none, that body responsible for the fiscal management of the regional jails, which shall be responsible for the payment thereof. He shall certify on each statement or invoice that the merchandise has been received and that the vendor has complied with the terms of the purchase. Such certification shall be in the following words: "I hereby certify that the merchandise or service has been received and that the terms of the purchase have been complied with on the part of the vendor. The merchandise or service has been or will be used solely for the feeding and care of prisoners confined in jail." If any county or city has a purchasing agent, the local governing body may require all such purchases to be made by or through the purchasing agent.

Code 1950, § 53-175; 1982, c. 636; 1991, c. 383; 2003, cc. 928, 1019; 2011, c. 727.

§ 53.1-127. Who may enter interior of local correctional facilities; searches of those entering.

A. Members of the local governing bodies that participate in the funding of a local correctional facility may go into the interior of that facility. The Governor, members of the General Assembly, and agents of the Board may go into the interior of any local correctional facility. In addition, Department of Corrections staff and state and local health department staff shall, in the performance of their duties, have access to the interior of any local correctional facility subject to the standards promulgated pursuant to subsections A and B of § 53.1-68. Attorneys shall be permitted in the interior of a local correctional facility to confer with prisoners who are their clients and with prisoners who are witnesses in cases in which they are involved. Except for the announced or unannounced inspections authorized pursuant to subsections A and B of § 53.1-68 or a review conducted pursuant to § 53.1-69.1, the sheriff, jail administrator, or other person in charge of the facility shall prescribe the time and conditions under which attorneys and other persons may enter the local correctional facility for which he is responsible.

B. Any person seeking to enter the interior of any local correctional facility shall be subject to a search of his person and effects. Such search shall be performed in a manner reasonable under the circumstances and may be a condition precedent to entering a local correctional facility.

1982, c. 636; 1995, c. 797; 2017, c. 759; 2022, c. 277.

§ 53.1-127.1. Establishment of stores in local correctional facilities.

Each sheriff who operates a correctional facility is authorized to provide for the establishment and operation of a store or commissary to deal in such articles and services as he deems proper. The net profits from the operation of such store that are generated from the inmates' accounts shall be used within the facility for educational, recreational or other purposes for the benefit of the inmates as may be prescribed by the sheriff. Any other profits may be used for the general operation of the sheriff's office. The sheriff shall be the purchasing agent in all matters involving the commissary and nonappropriated funds received from inmates. The funds from such operation of a store or commissary and from the inmate telephone services account shall be considered public funds.

1993, cc. 314, 616; 2002, c. 182; 2013, c. 91.

§ 53.1-127.2. Fees for electronic visitation and messaging with prisoners in local correctional facilities.

Each sheriff or jail superintendent who operates a correctional facility that utilizes an electronic visitation system or electronic messaging system, including Voice-over-Internet Protocol technology and web-based communication systems, for communication between prisoners and third parties is authorized to provide for the establishment and collection of a fee for the system utilized. However, no fee shall be charged for communication between prisoners and third parties within any local correctional facility or appurtenance thereto operated or controlled by the sheriff or jail superintendent.

This section does not apply to telephonic communication systems or to electronic video and audio communication systems used in judicial proceedings.

2011, c. 532; 2013, c. 449.

§ 53.1-127.3. Deferred or installment payment agreement for unpaid fees.

If a person is unable to pay in full the fees owed to the local correctional facility or regional jail pursuant to § 53.1-131.3, the sheriff or jail superintendent shall establish a deferred or installment payment agreement subject to the approval of the general district court. As a condition of every such agreement, a person who enters into a deferred or installment payment agreement shall promptly inform the sheriff or jail superintendent of any change of mailing address during the term of the agreement.

2012, c. 829; 2020, cc. 740, 741.

§ 53.1-127.4. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2020, cc. 740 and 741, cl. 2.

§ 53.1-127.5. Collection of fees owed; contract for collection; duties of Department of Taxation.

The sheriff or jail superintendent may (i) contract with private attorneys or private collection agencies, (ii) enter into an agreement with a local governing body, or (iii) enter into an agreement with the county or city treasurer, upon such terms and conditions as may be established by guidelines promulgated by the Board, to collect fees imposed under § 53.1-131.3. As part of such contract, private attorneys or collection agencies shall be given access to the social security number of the person who owes the fees in order to assist in the collection effort. Any such private attorney or collection agency shall be subject to the penalties and provisions of § 18.2-186.3.

The fees of any private attorney or collection agency shall be paid on a contingency fee basis out of the proceeds of the amounts collected. However, in no event shall such attorney or collection agency receive a fee for amounts collected by the Department of Taxation under the Setoff Debt Collection Act (§ 58.1-520 et seq.). A local treasurer undertaking collection pursuant to an agreement with the sheriff or jail superintendent may collect the administrative fee authorized by § 58.1-3958.

2012, c. 829.