Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia

Corrections Private Management Act

§ 53.1-261. Definitions

As used in this chapter unless the context requires otherwise or it is otherwise provided:

"Correctional services" means the following functions, services and activities when provided within a prison or otherwise:

1. Operation of facilities, including management, custody of inmates and provision of security;

2. Food services, commissary, medical services, transportation, sanitation or other ancillary services;

3. Development and implementation assistance for classification, management information systems or other information systems or services;

4. Education, training and employment programs;

5. Recreational, religious and other activities; and

6. Counseling, special treatment programs, or other programs for special needs.

"Prison" or "facility" or "prison facility" means any institution operated by or under authority of the Department and shall include, whether obtained by purchase, lease, construction, reconstruction, restoration, improvement, alteration, repair or other means, any physical betterment or improvement related to the housing of inmates or any preliminary plans, studies or surveys relative thereto; land or rights to land; and any furnishings, machines, vehicles, apparatus, or equipment for use in connection with any prison facility.

"Prison contractor" or "contractor" means any entity, including a local government, entering into or offering or proposing to enter into a contractual agreement to provide any correctional services to inmates under the custody of the Commonwealth or federal inmates under the custody of the prison contractor, while in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

1991, c. 705; 1992, c. 654; 1995, c. 694; 1996, c. 632; 2007, c. 394.

§ 53.1-262. State correctional facilities; private contracts

The Director, subject to the provisions of the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.), is hereby authorized to enter into contracts with prison contractors for the financing, site selection, acquisition, construction, maintenance, leasing, management or operation of prison facilities, or any combination of those services, subject to the requirements and limitations set out below.

1. Contracts entered into under the terms of this chapter 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 prison management projects;

c. Evidence of past performance of similar contracts which shall include the experience of persons in management with such entity and may include the experience of the parent of such entity; 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 chapter, 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 annual appropriation of funds by the Commonwealth.

3. Contracts awarded under the provisions of this chapter shall, at a minimum, comply with the following:

a. Provide for internal and perimeter security to protect the public, employees and inmates;

b. Provide inmates with work or training opportunities while incarcerated; however, the contractor shall not benefit financially from the labor of inmates;

c. Impose discipline on inmates only in accordance with applicable regulations; and

d. Provide proper food, clothing, housing and medical care for inmates.

4. No contract for correctional services shall be entered into 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 Commonwealth and public officials from all claims and losses incurred as a result of the contract. Nothing herein is intended to deprive a prison contractor or the Commonwealth of the benefits of any law limiting exposure to liability or setting a limit on damages.

5. No contract for correctional services shall be executed by the Director nor shall any funds be expended for the contract unless:

a. The proposed contract complies with any applicable regulations which may be promulgated by the Director pursuant to § 53.1-266;

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 the Department to similar types of inmates; and

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

6. A site proposed by a contractor for the construction of a prison facility shall not be subject to the approval procedure set forth in § 53.1-19. However, no contract for the construction and operation of a private correctional facility shall be entered into nor shall any funds be expended for the contract unless the local governing body, by duly adopted resolution, consents to the siting and construction of such facility within the boundaries of the locality.

1991, c. 705; 1992, c. 654; 1995, c. 694; 1998, c. 818; 2020, c. 759.

§ 53.1-263. Authority of security employees

Security employees of a prison contractor shall be allowed to use force and shall exercise their powers and authority only while on the grounds of an institution under the supervision of the prison contractor, while transporting inmates, while pursuing escapees from such institutions, and while providing inmate security for prisoners at a medical facility in the Commonwealth. All provisions of law pertaining to custodians of inmates, correctional officers, or prison or jail officers, except § 19.2-81.1, shall apply to contractors' security employees.

1991, c. 705; 1992, c. 654; 2007, c. 394.

§ 53.1-264. Application of certain criminal law to contractor-operated facilities

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

1991, c. 705; 1992, c. 654.

§ 53.1-265. Powers and duties not delegable to contractor

No contract for correctional services shall authorize, allow, or imply a delegation of authority or responsibility of the Director to a prison contractor for any of the following:

1. Developing and implementing procedures for calculating inmate release and parole eligibility 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 to the Director for his 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.

1991, c. 705; 1992, c. 654; 1995, c. 694.

§ 53.1-266. Department shall promulgate regulations

The Director shall make, adopt and promulgate regulations governing the following aspects of private management and operation of prison facilities:

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

2. Use of deadly and nondeadly force by prison contractors' security personnel;

3. Methods of monitoring a contractor-operated facility by the Department;

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

5. Such other regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

1991, c. 705; 1992, c. 654; 1995, c. 694; 2020, c. 759.

§ 53.1-267. Expired