VADOC Announces Changes to Visitation to Support Reentry, Fight Contraband
09/03/2019 Release from the Virginia Department of Corrections:
RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Corrections today announced plans to combat the introduction of contraband into the state’s prisons and enhance efforts to help offenders successfully reenter society following completion of their prison terms.
In an ongoing effort to support facility security as well as offenders’ reunification efforts with family and loved ones, a new visitation procedure will go into effect on January 15, 2020.
To help eliminate the introduction of contraband into DOC institutions through visiting rooms, each offender will be required to complete and submit a visiting list of up to 10 visitors that can only be changed twice a year. Offenders must submit this list by October 1, 2019.
Minors are excluded from the 10-visitor limit, and offenders with more than 10 immediate family members may request an exception to the 10-visitor limit.
Currently, offenders can add and remove visitors from their visitation list at any time, leading to many instances in which a visitor is “hired” to bring drugs into a facility through a visit with an offender the visitor doesn’t even know.
The department recognizes the importance of offender visits with friends, family, and loved ones, and continues efforts to make visitation safer for all involved. The introduction of drugs and other contraband into visitation rooms across the commonwealth puts visitors, including children, offenders, and staff at risk.
Visitors play an important role in offenders’ successful reentry into the community. Visitation applications can be found here: https://vadoc.virginia.gov/families-friends-of-offenders/visiting-an-offender/visitation-application/.
The department also provides video visitation opportunities in partnership with Assisting Families of Inmates (AFOI), an independent organization that offers services for families of offenders.
More details regarding visitation can be found here: https://vadoc.virginia.gov/families-friends-of-offenders/visiting-an-offender/.