RICHMOND — All 78 offenders from the Southampton Men’s Detention Center in Capron were moved on Friday to the Cold Springs Detention Center in Greenville after an engineer said the Southampton building had structural problems rendering it unsafe in high winds.
The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) asked a structural engineer to look at Southampton and quickly moved to find new housing for the community corrections detainees after receiving the engineer’s assessment. The former Cold Springs Work Center, which was closed last year due to budget cuts, was readied for the Southampton detainees, who are low-level offenders in a community corrections alternative program who can work in the community during the day.
“Safety is our top priority, for both offenders and staff,” said VADOC Director Harold Clarke. “It would likely cost more than $1 million to fix Southampton, so no decision has been made as to whether to do that. Thankfully, the Cold Springs facility was available for these offenders and our staff moved very quickly to get this done.” All VADOC staff who worked at Southampton will be placed in positions at other facilities, including Cold Springs Detention Center.
Detention centers are community corrections facilities offering a 5-7 month residential program. Detainees perform physical labor in organized public works projects and community service projects, and at some prison complexes.
Detainees participate in medical and psychological counseling, substance abuse treatment, GED/ABE classes, and more. Detainees have a mandatory period of intensive supervision followed by at least one year of regular supervision upon successful program completion. Only nonviolent felons are eligible.
More information on the VADOC can be found at www.vadoc.virginia.gov.