VBSO preparations and cancellations for the coronavirus
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office is taking every possible precaution to safeguard the health and safety of every person living and working inside the Virginia Beach Correctional Center. In consultation with health officials and federal, state and local leadership, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking proactive measures to reduce the potential for an exposure in the jail. So far these efforts include:
- Heightened screening of arrestees prior to entering the facility
- Quarantine of new admissions for 14 days
- Stocking of medical supplies
- Reminding everyone to take universal health precautions, such as frequent hand washing
- Utilizing Trusty and Workforce inmates for 24/7 cleaning and sanitation of the Correctional Center
- Suspending all volunteer programs
- Canceling all Correctional Center tours
- Canceling training and ceremonies
In addition, the following steps have been taken:
Virginia Beach Courthouse CLOSED
In keeping with order issued by the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Virginia Beach Courthouse is CLOSED through April 26, unless the closure is extended by the court. With the exception of the essential proceedings listed in the attached court orders, all criminal and civil matters will be continued until after April 26.
The following individuals ONLY will be allowed into the Virginia Beach Courthouse during the duration of the closure:
• Essential parties – such as attorneys, witnesses and defendants – to the emergency hearings listed in the Supreme Court of Virginia and Virginia Beach General District Court orders; those hearings include but are not limited to “quarantine or isolation matters, arraignments, bail reviews” and “civil commitment hearings”
• Individuals seeking protective orders and protective order appeals
• Individuals involved in emergency child custody or protection cases
• Those seeking exemptions from garnishments
In addition, all persons entering the Courthouse are being asked the following questions:
• Have you traveled within the last 14 days? If so, where?
• Have you come in close contact with someone under investigation for having COVID-19? Have you been under investigation for having COVID-19?
• Do you have a fever?
• Do you have a cough or respiratory symptoms?
*Answering yes to any of these questions may result in you being denied entrance to the building.*
Those who have a pending civil or criminal matter scheduled during the closure should contact the appropriate court for their new court date. All other offices located inside the Courthouse are also closed – including the clerks’ offices and Community Corrections and Pretrial – and they will have to be contacted directly for information on available services during this closure. Contact information is available at vbgov.com.
For Virginia Beach Circuit Court filings, lockboxes have been provided for submitting civil and criminal paperwork and deed/land recording paperwork on the steps of the Courthouse Extension (Building 10B). Electronic recording is also available. Additional information on Circuit Court services available during this time is posted at vblandrecords.com.
This closure will be strictly enforced by Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office deputies and only those individuals on official business pursuant to the court orders will be permitted inside the building.
Please understand that these steps are being taken for the health and safety of our community. Thank you!
Civil Process operations MODIFIED - evictions POSTPONED
In response to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic and in the best interest of public health and safety, the VBSO Civil Process Division has modified its civil process operations.
Through at least April 26, all evictions will be postponed. Service of process will be reduced to emergency cases in accordance with the current operations of the Virginia Beach courts. These operational modifications will be reevaluated and updated on an ongoing basis consistent with any additional executive and/or judicial orders.
Questions? Call 757-385-6234.
Some nonviolent offenders released into electronic home incarceration
Starting Tuesday, March 17, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office began releasing some nonviolent offenders into electronic home incarceration in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Sheriff’s Office has identified those Virginia Beach Correctional Center inmates who may be eligible for release into the existing Electronic Home Incarceration Program (EHIP). To be eligible, they must have 90 days or less left to serve for a nonviolent offense. Offenders charged with domestic violence or their third or subsequent drunken driving offense will not be considered for release. They must have a safe place to go.
In addition, new arrestees who meet these criteria will also be considered for release into the EHIP.
The goal is to reduce the jail population, which is about 1,300 individuals, and free up bed space. The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office is taking every precaution to reduce the risk of a novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, infection in the Correctional Center. Among those precautions is an automatic 14-day quarantine of all new admissions, which requires additional bed space.
The releases were approved by the attached court order from Virginia Beach General District Court Chief Judge Daniel Lahne.
The EHIP allows the Sheriff’s Office to monitor the whereabouts of offenders using Attenti GPS-enabled ankle bracelets. The system allows for geofencing and tracking of each individual’s location via satellite.
The Sheriff’s Office plans to waive the usual $3.20/day charge for participating in the program as long as offenders remain on good behavior during their release and return the equipment undamaged. Anyone who violates the terms of their release will be taken back into custody.
The EHIP can accommodate 150 offenders.
The criteria listed here is not exhaustive and the Sheriff’s Office cannot confirm or guarantee the eligibility of any individual offender. Due to these constraints and manpower limitations, we ask that inmates' friends and family refrain from calling to inquire about placement into the program.
On-site inmate visitation CANCELED
All on-site inmate visitation is CANCELED for the foreseeable future. Friends, family and attorneys still have several options for communicating with their loved ones and clients: mail, telephone, and online video visitation and messaging. For more information on those options, visit vbso.net/calls-visits.
In addition, all inmates are receiving two FREE five-minute phone calls per week so that they can stay connected with their friends and family during the novel coronavirus pandemic and shutdown of on-site visitation. The free calls will be the first two calls the inmate makes each week. This is being provided courtesy of our telephone vendor, GTL.
Inmate fees and accounts
We are not accepting in-person account deposits or payments for inmate fees at this time. The following options are available:
Telephone account deposits: Call 877-650-4249 or visit GTL's website at web.connectednetwork.com
Canteen accounts: Call 877-650-4249, visit GTL's website at web.connectednetwork.com or mail a money order, certified check or cashier’s check made payable to “VBSO Inmate Account” to:
Inmate’s name and OMS number
c/o Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office
VBSO Inmate Account
P.O. Box 6186
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Inmate fees: Mail the bill stub with a check or money order to:
Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office
P.O. Box 6469
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
VBSO Inmate Account
Weekender Program SUSPENDED
The Weekender Program has been SUSPENDED until further notice. This decision was made effective March 9 in consultation with the Virginia Beach Circuit and District court judges, who have agreed to cease sentencing into the program. The suspension is a precaution to reduce admissions into the Correctional Center. Weekenders with questions about their options to complete their sentence should call 757-385-1050.
These changes will remain in effect for the foreseeable future and will be reevaluated daily and updated as needed.
Please check here and/or our social media sites for additional information about steps we are taking to monitor and prepare for the potential spread of the coronavirus. As always, the health and safety of the community, the inmates, and the deputies and civilians of the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office is our top priority.