Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 53.1. Prisons and Other Methods of Correction
Subtitle .
Chapter 7. Crimes and Criminal Proceedings Involving Prisoners
11/27/2022

Chapter 7. Crimes and Criminal Proceedings Involving Prisoners.

Article 1. Crimes by Prisoners.

§ 53.1-203. Felonies by prisoners; penalties.

It shall be unlawful for a prisoner in a state, local or community correctional facility or in the custody of an employee thereof to:

1. Escape from a correctional facility or from any person in charge of such prisoner;

2. Willfully break, cut or damage any building, furniture, fixture or fastening of such facility or any part thereof for the purpose of escaping, aiding any other prisoner to escape therefrom or rendering such facility less secure as a place of confinement;

3. Make, procure, secrete or have in his possession any instrument, tool or other thing for the purpose of escaping from or aiding another to escape from a correctional facility or employee thereof;

4. Make, procure, secrete or have in his possession a knife, instrument, tool or other thing not authorized by the superintendent or sheriff which is capable of causing death or bodily injury;

5. Procure, sell, secrete or have in his possession any chemical compound which he has not lawfully received;

6. Procure, sell, secrete or have in his possession a controlled substance classified in Schedule III of the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) or marijuana;

7. Introduce into a correctional facility or have in his possession firearms or ammunition for firearms;

8. Willfully burn or destroy by use of any explosive device or substance, in whole or in part, or cause to be so burned or destroyed, any personal property, within any correctional facility;

9. Willfully tamper with, damage, destroy, or disable any fire protection or fire suppression system, equipment, or sprinklers within any correctional facility; or

10. Conspire with another prisoner or other prisoners to commit any of the foregoing acts.

For violation of any of the provisions of this section, except subdivision 6, the prisoner shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. For a violation of subdivision 6, he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. If the violation is of subdivision 1 of this section and the escapee is a felon, he shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of confinement of one year, which shall be served consecutively with any other sentence. The prisoner shall, upon conviction of escape, immediately commence to serve such escape sentence, and he shall not be eligible for parole during such period. Any prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment who escapes shall not be eligible for parole. No part of the time served for escape shall be credited for the purpose of parole toward the sentence or sentences, the service of which is interrupted for service of the escape sentence, nor shall it be credited for such purpose toward any other sentence.

Code 1950, § 53-291; 1966, c. 300; 1970, c. 648; 1973, c. 403; 1975, c. 588; 1977, c. 497; 1978, cc. 177, 361; 1982, c. 636; 1985, c. 555; 1988, c. 371; 2004, c. 461; 2006, c. 104; 2011, cc. 384, 410; 2014, cc. 674, 719.

§ 53.1-204. If prisoner commits any other felony, how punished.

If a prisoner in a state, local or community correctional facility or in the custody of an employee thereof commits any felony other than those specified in §§ 18.2-31, 18.2-55 and 53.1-203, which is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility, such prisoner shall be subject to the same punishment therefor as if he were not a prisoner.

Code 1950, § 53-294; 1970, c. 648; 1975, c. 588; 1982, c. 636; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 344, 345.

§ 53.1-205. Jurisdiction for trial of prisoners; nature of proceedings.

Subject to the provisions of §§ 53.1-203 and 53.1-204, the jurisdiction, proceedings, trial and judgment in a criminal proceeding against a person confined in a state correctional facility shall be as is provided for in other cases of criminal prosecution.

Code 1950, §§ 53-295, 53-300; 1966, c. 430; 1970, c. 593; 1973, c. 59; 1982, c. 636.

Article 2. Prisoners As Witnesses or Charged with Other Crimes.

§ 53.1-206. When prisoner surrendered as witness; certificate.

Prisoners may be surrendered as witnesses if a judge of any court of record of the United States or of the District of Columbia, or of any state certifies under the seal of such court that:

1. There is a criminal prosecution pending in such court or that a grand jury investigation has commenced or is about to commence;

2. A person confined in any state correctional facility in Virginia is a material witness in such prosecution or grand jury investigation, and his presence will be required at a time stated;

3. The officer presenting the certificate is authorized to receive custody of such prisoner and will retain him in his custody until his return to this Commonwealth; and

4. The prisoner will be safely returned to the custody of the Director at such state correctional facility, as the Director may direct.

Upon presentation of such certificate to the Director, if he is of the opinion that the ends of justice will be promoted thereby, the Director may, with the approval of the Governor, surrender the prisoner into the custody of the officer named in the certificate.

Code 1950, § 53-301; 1970, c. 648; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-207. Cost of transportation.

All transportation and other costs incident thereto shall be paid by the authority requesting the prisoner.

Code 1950, § 53-302; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-208. Prisoners indicted or charged with crime outside Virginia; certificate; authority of officer with custody of prisoner.

If a similar certificate, similarly executed, shall state that a prisoner has been indicted or stands legally charged with a crime outside Virginia, the Director may, with the approval of the Governor, likewise deliver the prisoner to the officer presenting the certificate. Such delivery may be conditioned upon the return of the prisoner under such circumstances as the Governor may prescribe.

Any officer of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any other state to whom custody of any such prisoner has been surrendered, is hereby clothed with the authority and powers of a sheriff or a state correctional officer with respect to the custody of the prisoner in this Commonwealth.

Any duly authorized officer of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any other state, while engaged in transporting through Virginia to any other state any prisoner of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any other state, lawfully taken or surrendered into his custody either within or without Virginia in any manner, shall while transporting such prisoner into or through Virginia, be clothed with all of the authority and powers of a sheriff or of a state correctional officer with respect to the custody of the prisoner in this Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 53-303; 1982, c. 636.

§ 53.1-209. Foreign prisoners to be held in Virginia.

Pursuant to the order or request of the Governor, of any court, attorney for the Commonwealth of Virginia, or any other authorized officer, if any prisoner of the United States, District of Columbia or of any other state be tendered to the custody of the Director or any duly authorized officer of a state correctional facility, either within this Commonwealth or to be transported to this Commonwealth to be held for trial for crime in Virginia or as a witness in any criminal proceeding in Virginia, the Director or officer is hereby authorized to receive the prisoner into custody. The Director or officer is hereby clothed with the same powers with respect to custody as is possessed over prisoners held after conviction of a crime and sentencing to a state correctional facility by a court of this Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 53-304; 1982, c. 636.