The Corrections Division is responsible for the security, safety and control of the inmate population through supervision of meals, recreation, programs, visitation and other daily activities in both the Hampton Correctional Facility and the Hampton Community Corrections Center. Using state-of-the-art technology, this division ensures that a case record is established on each individual committed to the facility, and that inmates are referred to the appropriate programs. Other responsibilities include maintaining a S.E.R.T. Team, coordinating inmate work and educational programs, and providing medical, dental and mental health services for inmates.
The general construction of the Hampton Correctional Facility, built in 1962, is of a maximum security design, or inside cell construction. This type of construction positions the cells in the center of a housing area, back-to-back, separated by a common pipe chase where plumbing can be attended to without entering the cells. A day room area is positioned in front of the cells.
The original rated single bed capacity for the jail was 92, but after three renovations, the rated capacity stands at 168. When Sheriff Roberts took office, records indicated upwards of 350 inmates were being housed there on a daily basis. By 1994, the inmate population approached 500. This overcrowding put a severe strain on every aspect of the physical plant, as well as staff and inmates.
Looking for a solution to diffuse this volatile situation, Sheriff Roberts requested that the National Institute of Corrections perform a needs assessment for the Hampton Sheriffs Office.
The organizations findings led to an extensive renovation project at the jail as well as construction of the Hampton Community Corrections Center, located on West Pembroke Avenue. To date, renovations to the principal facility include: renovated inmate spaces, a facility entrance and control center, visitation booths (including areas for physically challenged visitors and inmates), attorney and probation/parole rooms, a booking area, and deputy work/break areas.
The Hampton Community Corrections Center is a state-of-the-art facility, putting a new and innovative face on the way corrections work is accomplished. While some areas of the 55,000-square foot former warehouse are similar to other correctional facilities, ten inmate living spaces are of an original mall design allowing one deputy to have a clear and unobstructed view of three or four dormitories. The surveillance is supplemented by video cameras.
The Hampton Community Corrections Center, designed to house minimum security risk inmates with relatively short-term sentences, boasts a capacity of 308, has a four-bed clinic and on-site dental capabilities, three classrooms, a multi-purpose room and a kitchen and laundry space large enough to service the Hampton Correctional Facility and the Hampton Community Corrections Center.
The philosophy of this facility focuses on offering aggressive rehabilitative programs to the Hampton Correctional Facilities population, thereby assisting them in successfully transitioning back into the community. The Hampton Sheriffs Office is hopeful that the types of programs offered will have a three prong effect. Not only is the department looking to provide inmates with the necessary coping skills required to be successful employees, but successful husbands, fathers and good citizens.
It is the departments belief that this approach will cut down on the number of repeat offenders, thus reducing the amount of crimes committed in the local community, as well as reducing the cost of feeding, clothing and housing inmates.
Hampton Sheriff’s Office has implemented a cutting-edge public safety software system for jail management used by correctional facilities across the nation. This innovative, integrated system provides the tools needed to track and manage inmates, operations, and facility needs. Zuercher Suite simplifies information sharing and brings new efficiencies to everyday tasks. Jail employees and administrators have the information they need to streamline operations and keep employees and inmates safe and secure.
The Hampton Correctional Facility's Intake unit, housed in the General District Court building, has a computerized processing system, LIVE SCAN, which allows the unit to send arrestees fingerprints electronically to State Police and receive vital response and information (including prior criminal records, aliases, out-standing warrants, etc.) within 20 minutes. LIVE SCAN interfaces with Zuercher Suite.
In November 2000, the Hampton Sheriffs Office implemented a new state-of-the-art video arraignment system. Video arraignment allows inmates housed in the two Hampton Correctional facilities to appear before the court to answer a charge or indictment without ever having to be transported to another location. The technology greatly reduces the amount of time required for arraignment and maintains a secure environment. All inmates stand in front of the video camera where they can be viewed by the judge, the prosecutor and the court deputy during the arraignment process.
Video Bonding has been operational in the Hampton Sheriffs Office since early 2000. Video bonding allows the magistrate to bond inmates from the Hampton Correctional facilities without ever having to transport the inmate to another location. The defendant appears via video camera before the magistrate, who initiates the bonding process, and affirms that he/she will appear in the designated court at the ordered location, date and time.
The Sheriffs Emergency Response Team, (SERT)
A tactical team of sheriff’s deputies who are on call 24 hours. The team was developed in order to quell any dangerous situations in the jail. SERT is a support unit whose function is to safely, quickly, and effectively restore order. Their primary focus is cell extractions and riot control The team is comprised of 19 highly trained Sheriff’s deputies in tactical responses for emergency situations. The inmates’ knowledge of the existence of the SERT team has been a very effective deterrent to violent incidents and disorder. The team trains together at least once a month to ensure that they are prepared for any assignment. Like all Sheriff’s Office personnel, these officers have primary assignments which constitute their daily duties. They are deployed in a tactical capacity when the need arises.
Commissary services for the Hampton Sheriff’s Office are through a contract with a private vendor. Inmates are afforded the opportunity to purchasevarious items such as food, snacks, hygiene, and recreational items. Commissary is delivered to the inmates once a week. Secure Deposits is a new efficient way to collect funds electronically for inmates. The Jail Kiosk machine allows friends and family members of the offender to deposit monies by cash, credit or debit cards directly into an inmate’s account. The Kiosk machine requires a $3.00 service charge when depositing cash and a $2.95 service charge for credit and debit cards. Deposits can be made online or through a toll free number 24 hours/7 days a week. The Kiosk is located in the Hampton Community Corrections Center.
Food Service is another resource that is contracted out to a private vendor. All meals and snacks are planned and prepared daily, including regular and special diet meals. Inmates receive three meals daily, two of which are hot and one which may be cold. All meals provided to the inmates meet the guidelines of the American Correctional Association which are based upon the current recommended daily allowances and daily reference intakes.
The Warehouse Unit oversees the maintenance of supplies. The warehouse officer orders and tracks all supplies, equipment and uniforms for the operation of the facilities and for employees of the Hampton Sheriff’s Office.
Inmate Workforce Program
In partnership with the State, the Hampton Sheriffs Office has contracted with the Virginia Department Of Transportation (VDOT) to have inmate work crews perform maintenance and clean up along Interstate corridors. Inmate crews are comprised of 6 minimum-security inmates and 1 deputy supervisor. Workforce provides inmates with the opportunity for rehabilitation and job training while improving the overall appearance of the city. This highly successful program generated over $100,000.00 of additional revenue for the City of Hampton in 2000 and has generated revenue in excess of $300,000.00 since its inception in 1998.
In partnership with the City of Hampton Department of Parks and Recreation, the Hampton Sheriffs Office has added an additional inmate work crew to clean and maintain parks, neighborhoods and other common areas throughout the city.
The Work Release program provides opportunities for new or continued employment for state and local inmates who meet stringent criteria pursuant to the Code of Virginia. The Hampton Sheriffs Office has partnered with local businesses to provide new jobs or allow eligible inmates to retain employment and actively contribute to their personal financial obligations. Work release inmates pay a fee to defray the cost of their room, board and transportation and are allowed to keep the remainder of their wages. The work release program generates over $100,000.00 annually in additional revenue for the City. A portion of this revenue was used to procure a work release bus, used to transport the inmates back and forth to their work sites.
Intake is the facility within the Hampton Sheriff’s Office where local, state and university law enforcement officers bring arrestees to be processed. The Hampton Sheriff’s Office deputies search and process the arrestees by photographing, fingerprinting if applicable and enter their information to include their charges in the informational system. Through the booking process the inmate may be seen by the magistrate and be arraigned before being transferred to the main Correctional facility.
Classification is the process in which the officers ask pertinent questions of the inmate, review their criminal history, review their previous institutional records and current charges and behaviors to determine their custody level. The custody levels of minimum, medium and maximum security along with their risk/needs, determines where the inmates will be housed within and between the correctional facilities. The Hampton Correctional Facility house females, minimum, medium and maximum security inmates. The Hampton Community Corrections Facility house minimum security inmates.
Inmate Records is where the every incarcerated inmate file is maintained. This section is responsible for preparing documents to ensure the inmates are prepared for court appearances. Personnel in Inmate Records are responsible for accurately computing local sentences, preparing documents to include jail credit to the Department of Corrections for inmates with a state sentence and answering correspondences as it relates to the inmate’s charge(s), bond amount, court appearance, sentence(s) and detainers.
All inmates are afforded the opportunity to participate in educational programs that meet the needs of the inmate population as a whole. These programs include General Education Diploma (GED) preparation, Adult Basic Education and post-secondary educational counseling.
Vocational programs include computer skills training, landscape design and maintenance, food service training, and career counseling.
Private religious counseling, by the clergy of the inmates choice is conducted twice each week. The Southeastern Correctional Ministries of Hampton/Newport News also provides group Bible study and individual counseling two days each week.
Legal Library Services
The Inmate programs staff maintains a computerized law library. Law on Disc, which offers inmates quick and easy access to the Code of Virginia. Inmates submit written requests for research to the Inmate Programs Office, who will research all relevant codes and provide the inmate with a printed copy of the legal material.
A structured, comprehensive program that seeks to promote positive, nurturing relationships between the children and families of incarcerated men. Classes are conducted by Healthy Families Partnership and meet once each week. Sentenced inmates with children and at least eight weeks time left to serve may register for this program which addresses male/female relationships, conflict resolution, child development, building childrens self-worth and communication skills. Inmates who attend five or more sessions of the program receive a Certificate of Completion.