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Virginia Inmate Search

Virginia Inmate Search is a tool provided by the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) that allows the public to search for information about individuals currently incarcerated or on probation/parole. This tool intends to increase transparency and public access to information about the criminal justice system in Virginia.

The VADOC is responsible for maintaining, preserving, and updating inmate records. They keep a vast database of information maintained online and accessible so that the public may do an inmate search in Virginia at any time.

When you run a search using the Virginia Inmate Search tool, you can find the following information about an inmate:

  • The full name of the inmate in question
  • A physical description of the inmate, including their height, weight, hair color, and eye color
  • The identification number or a unique number assigned to each inmate in the VADOC system
  • A mugshot or photograph of the inmate, when available
  • Conviction date, charges, and county where the conviction occurred
  • Sentence length
  • Release date

It is worth noting that the search results will not include offenders not in VADOC's custody while using this tool.

What Are Virginia Inmate Records?

Virginia Inmate Records provide a comprehensive and detailed view of an individual's criminal history and current incarceration status within the state. The VDOC and other state law enforcement agencies maintain these records.

A Virginia Inmate Record contains more detailed information about the offender's criminal history. When you request this record, you can expect any of the following information or materials:

  • The inmate's full name, gender, date of birth, race, and other identifying information
  • The inmate's current incarceration, including their housing facility, their inmate number, their custody status, and their expected release date
  • The inmate's criminal history, including the nature of the offense, the crime date, and the sentence imposed
  • Conviction information such as the charges, the date of the conviction, and the county where the conviction occurred
  • Arrest information, such as the date and location of the arrest and the agency that made the arrest
  • The inmate's sentence, including duration, conditions, and time served
  • The inmate's parole or probation status, including the terms and conditions of their release
  • The inmate's court proceedings, including the date and location of their trial, the verdict, and any appeals or other legal actions taken
  • Visitation and contact information for the inmate's family or legal representatives, as well as any emergency contacts they have provided
  • Mugshot
  • Fingerprints
  • DNA samples
  • Evidence such as audio and video recordings
  • Police reports

According to the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), unless prohibited by court order, the material included in Virginia Inmate Records is public information accessible upon request.

What Are Virginia Prison and Jail Records?

In Virginia, state prisons and county jails are both facilities used for the confinement of individuals arrested and charged with criminal offenses. However, there are several key differences between these two types of facilities.

State prisons in Virginia are facilities operated by the VADOC. They house inmates convicted of more serious crimes and sentenced to more extended periods of incarceration. State prisons are typically more extensive facilities located in rural areas and hold a more significant number of inmates.

At Virginia's state prisons, there were more than 29,000 prisoners in 2020, and the annual average cost of housing a prisoner in a Virginia state prison is $24,410.

On the other hand, county jails in Virginia are facilities operated by local county or city governments. They hold individuals arrested and awaiting trial or sentenced to shorter periods of incarceration. County jails are typically smaller facilities located in urban areas and may keep fewer inmates.

In 2017, more than 3,600 people were being held in Virginia county jails, and the average cost of keeping an inmate in a county jail in Virginia for a year is $22,837.

Here are other statistical data in Virginia Prison and Jail Records:

  • Virginia releases around 9,100 convicts annually, while 1.1 times more are imprisoned.
  • In Virginia, 0.45% of the population is under correctional supervision, of which around 1,600 are on parole, and 60,800 are on probation.
  • State and local government spending on corrections in Virginia grew by 346% between 1979–1980 and 2012–2013, from $487.5M to $2.1B.
  • In Virginia, 92% of prisoners are male, and 8% are female.

What Are the Types of Prisons and Jails in Virginia?

There are several types of prisons and jails in Virginia, each designed to meet the needs of inmates and address various aspects of the criminal justice system.

Each type of facility serves a unique purpose and has its own set of rules and regulations. Understanding the different kinds of prisons and jails in Virginia is essential in performing a Virginia Inmate Search.

Here's an overview of the different types of prisons and jails in Virginia:

Virginia State Prisons

Those convicted of felonies and those receiving longer prison sentences are in Virginia state prisons run by the VADOC. It houses individuals convicted of various offenses, such as murder, robbery, drug trafficking, and sexual crimes.

In addition to individuals who are serving longer sentences, Virginia state prisons may also house individuals classified as high-risk or who require specialized treatment or services. For example, some state prisons have specialized units for inmates diagnosed with mental illness or substance abuse issues.

As of 2023, there are 41 active state prisons in Virginia. You can check the VADOC directory for these facilities' addresses and contact information.

Virginia Federal Prisons

Virginia federal prisons are correctional facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP), a U.S. Department of Justice division. These facilities house individuals convicted of federal offenses, including drug trafficking, immigration, and white-collar crimes.

As of 2023, Virginia is home to the following federal prisons:

Virginia County (Local) and Regional Jails

Virginia county (local) and regional jails are correctional facilities that city or county governments operate.

A superintendent serving the regional jail board or jail authority administers regional jails in Virginia, whereas sheriff's offices operate county jails.

County jails are typically smaller and may only have a few dozen inmates at a time. In contrast, regional jails are more extensive and may have the capacity to house hundreds of inmates.

Another difference between these two is their level of security. In Virginia, county jails house low-risk offenders, such as those charged with minor crimes or those awaiting trial.

On the other hand, regional jails house a more comprehensive range of inmates, including those considered higher-risk or charged with more serious offenses.

Despite these differences, both facilities are responsible for providing inmates with a secure and controlled environment. Both may offer a range of programs and services designed to support inmate rehabilitation and successful reentry into society. In addition, county and regional jails are subject to state and federal regulations and standards.

According to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC), there are 59 county and regional jails in Virginia as of 2023. You can contact JLARC or the Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) for additional information about these jails.

Virginia Juvenile Detention Centers

Virginia juvenile detention centers are secure facilities housing minors arrested or detained for alleged criminal offenses. The state's Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) primarily operates these facilities. It is responsible for providing juveniles with a safe and secure environment while awaiting court proceedings or disposition.

As of 2023, Virginia has only one primary juvenile detention center, which is the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center (BAJCC) in Chesterfield County.

BAJCC provides numerous services and programs to support juvenile offenders' rehabilitation and successful reentry. These services may include education, vocational training, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, and other support services.

As per JLARC, there are also 24 juvenile detention centers in different localities. You can contact JLARC for additional information about these facilities.

How To Perform Inmate Search in Virginia? 

If you're trying to locate someone currently incarcerated in Virginia state prisons, you can perform an inmate search by visiting the VDOC website. The website has the Virginia Inmate Search tool called "Offender Locator," which allows you to look up inmates by their first and last name, offender ID, and other search options.

If you have the inmate's first and last name, you can simply enter that information into the appropriate fields on the search page.

If you don't know the inmate's name but have their offender ID, you can enter that information instead. The offender ID is a unique seven-digit number provided to every inmate in Virginia correctional facilities.

Once you have entered the required information, click the "Search" button to begin your search.

Since the "Offender Locator" does not give results to offenders not in VADOC's custody, visit the website or contact the facility or the agency responsible for getting information from inmates incarcerated in county and regional jails, federal prisons, and juvenile detention facilities.

If you want complete information, you can request the inmate records by submitting a FOIA request to the facility that maintains the records. You may submit your request in person, by phone, email, fax, or by U.S. mail.

For a state prison run by VADOC, request inmate records to the facility's Warden or Superintendent using the directory's supplied contact information (the link is in the "Virginia State Prisons" section).

To get inmate records from the other types of correctional facilities in Virginia, visit the facility's website or the in-charge agency and follow the instructions for obtaining inmate records. If there are no specific instructions, locate the FOIA Officer or Warden's contact information.                                                                

Note that juvenile records in Virginia are generally not public, and only their parents or legal guardians can access them.

How To Contact an Inmate in Virginia?

You can't contact a VADOC inmate through phone calls. But inmates can call you anytime they want through the VADOC offender phone system, called ConnectNetwork, run by Global Tel*Link.

You may put funds into a prepaid phone account to receive collect calls from an offender. Visit the ConnectNetwork website or contact them at 1 (800) 483-8314 to establish a prepaid phone plan.

Inmates may use their official phone list to contact family, friends, and legal counsel. The offender is responsible for maintaining a maximum of 15 landline and mobile phone numbers in their call list.

Note that the service provider will record and listen to all calls except for calls from verified attorneys. Also, all calls are restricted to 20 minutes to ensure offenders' fair use of the phones.

To learn more about the VADOC offender phone system, read the Operating Procedure 803.3 manual.

Aside from phone calls, you can also mail the VADOC inmate by addressing it with the inmate's full name, ID number, and the name of the housing facility. Check the VADOC website for the correct mailing address of the facility.

Furthermore, you send encrypted messages, photos, and other materials using JPAY, a privately managed service approved by VADOC.

All messages are subject to monitoring and screening, so avoid sending prohibited items such as cash, checks, stamps, or stickers. In addition, anything exceeding the maximum of three 8.5" x 11" paper sheets will be rejected. If you want to send photographs, you can only send three unless you print or photocopy a single page with several images.

The contact procedures above apply only to VADOC facilities. Contact the facility or the agency in charge, or visit their respective websites for information on their communication rules.

How To Visit an Inmate in Virginia?

You must get approval and be on the offender's list to visit a state prison inmate.

You can submit a visitation application online to get approval. The approval process can take up to 30 days. Once approved, you must renew this right every two years, at least 45 days before your current rights run out. Visitors from out of state must reapply 90 days before their visiting privileges end.

After getting approval, you must schedule a visit using the VADOC Visitation Scheduler. If you are a new user, sign up first by clicking "Register Today."

Following registration, you'll get a message that says your request is "waiting for approval." You will then get an email within three business days informing you of the status of your request.

Once approved, you can choose a time and date to visit an inmate. You can plan a visit up to 14 days in advance. You can only visit an inmate once per weekend.

Follow the VADOC visitation policy during your visit to ensure safety and security.

Here are some key points of the policy:

  • All visitors must present a valid government-issued photo ID and may be subject to a search of their person and belongings.
  • Visitors may be denied entry if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, have a criminal record, or pose a security risk.
  • Visitors must follow the dress code and behavior guidelines.
  • Visitors must remain in designated areas and may not wander around the facility.
  • Visits may be terminated at any time for security or safety reasons.

The rules for visiting inmates in other correctional facilities are different. Contact the facility or the agency in charge, or visit their respective websites for information on their visitation policies.

How To Send Money to an Inmate in Virginia?

Via JPay, the VADOC enables friends and family to send money to inmates housed in its facilities. This money transfer processor offers several alternatives for sending funds, including:

In-person Cash Deposits

Go to a MoneyGram agent location, such as Walmart or CVS Pharmacy, to deposit funds into an inmate's account. Use the receiving code 5189 whenever you transact using this method.

Online Credit or Debit Card Deposits

The quickest method to fund an inmate's account is by making an online payment using the JPay website. You can transact using a credit or debit card.

Deposits Over the Phone

Put money into your Virginia inmate's trust fund account by dialing JPAY at 1-800-574-5729.

Deposits Through Mobile Applications

Use the JPay mobile application to transfer money to an inmate. This app works with Android and iOS devices.

Mail-in Money Order Deposits

When submitting a money order, it is crucial to include a deposit slip. Then, send the order and slip to the postal address for JPay (the address is in the form). If you send inmates a money order, they can get the funds in three business days.

You can fund up to $300 per transfer in in-person and mail-in deposits.

It is worth noting that sending money to VADOC inmates is not feasible without the seven-digit Offender ID number. If you don't know it yet, use the Virginia Inmate Search tool to obtain it.

Most county and regional jails and other facilities in Virginia allow friends and family to send convicts checks and money orders. Typically, these facilities outsource money transfers to payment processors such as TouchPay and JailATM.

In addition, aside from walk-in, some can transmit funds online through their payment processors.

For accurate information about sending money to inmates in different correctional facility types, contact the facility or the agency in charge, or visit their respective websites.


Counties in Virginia