Offenders  //

Incoming Offenders

Incoming Offenders

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We protect the public by managing prison facilities in a manner which:

  • Prevents escapes
  • Prevents assaults on staff, volunteers, visitors, and inmates
  • Prevents introduction of contraband
  • Provides safe and clean conditions

The prison system offers a range of programs and services to more than 30,000 state prisoners. The following is what to expect when you are placed in the custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections.

The Incarceration Process

As an offender placed in state custody, you will move through Virginia’s criminal justice system.

Make Arrest and Determine Sentencing

The police will conduct an investigation of a crime before they make an arrest. After arrest, you will stay in a local jail throughout the court process. A judge will determine your sentence.

Assign Security Level and Facility

After receiving a sentencing court order, our staff will evaluate, drug test, interview, and classify you into one of six security levels based on your offense, behavior, and length of your sentence.

Your facility assignment will correspond with your security level classification.

Develop Treatment Plan and Assign Programs

Once assigned to a state facility, your counselor develops a treatment plan for you based on your needs. The plan can include a variety of programs. We track your progress in reaching your treatment plan goals each year and update them based on your needs.

Our staff will also annually re-evaluate your security level, good conduct, and facility assignment. Ideally, you will progress from higher to lower security level facilities as you complete your treatment plan.

Only offenders who participate in their treatment plan are able to earn credit for good conduct.

We also offer religious services, recreational programs, physical and mental health services, in addition to providing food and clothing.

Provide Community Supervision and Release

We strive to provide you with a smooth transition back into society. Upon release, you may be assigned community supervision for a length of time based on your needs. We may assign you parole, probation, or post-release supervision. We may also provide continuing treatment programming or services if necessary.

Procedures for External Contact and Support

There are various ways your loved ones can support you throughout your incarceration.

Security Levels

When offenders go through the classification process to determine their security level assignment, the main factors considered are the offense, length of sentence, behavior, and treatment needs.

Work Center

No Murder I or ll, Voluntary Manslaughter, Sex Offense, Kidnap/Abduction, Carjacking, Malicious Wounding, Flight/FTA pattern, No Escapes within the last 15 years, No Felony Detainers. Felony convictions for Robbery w/ Weapon Present or Implied, Unlawful Wounding and Felonious Assault, including multiple convictions, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Field Unit

No Murder I or II, Sex Offense, Kidnap/Abduction, Escapes within the last 15 years.

Security Level 2

No Escape History within past five years. Single Life sentences must have reached their Parole Eligibility Date (PED). No disruptive behavior for at least past 24 months prior to consideration for a transfer to any less secure facility.

Security Level 3

Single, multiple, & Life + sentences must have served 20 consecutive years on sentence. No disruptive behavior for at least past 24 months prior to consideration for a transfer to any less-secure facility.

Security Level 4

Long Term; Single, multiple, & Life + sentences. No disruptive behavior for at least past 24 months prior to consideration for a transfer to any less secure facility.

Security Level 5

Long Term; Single, multiple, & Life + sentences. No disruptive behavior for at least past 24 months prior to consideration for a transfer to any less secure facility.

Maximum Security

Long Term; Single, multiple, & Life + sentences. PROFILE: Disruptive; Assaultive; Severe Behavior Problems; Predatory-type behavior; Escape Risk.

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