Prison Overcrowding: Virginia

Below is a summary of information including: statistics from Virginia’s Department of Corrections, an overview of the state’s prison overcrowding dilemma, as well as helpful references and points of contact for those interested in resolving the problem.

Facts and Figures 2007-2008

DOC Costs

  • Annual budget: $1 billion

DOC Population

  • Total number of facilities: 40
  • Total incarcerated under DOC jurisdiction: 32,281
  • Major Institutions – DOC Inmates: 27,970
  • Major Institutions – Out of State Inmates: 419
    • Correctional Field Units: 1,236
    • Work Centers: 1,417
    • 300 MCV Security Ward – DOC Inmates: 13
    • Private Prisons: 1,576
    • State Hospitals: 7
  • Number of inmates of 50 years old: 4,700
  • Average time served: Over 44 months
  • Prisons compete with private businesses: Yes

Organization of state divisions, view here.


  • Parole was abolished in Virginia for felonies committed on or after January 1, 1995. Inmates can earn a maximum of 4.5 days for each 30 days served.

Overcrowding Quick Facts

  • Between FY 1998 and FY 2004 the number of offenders who were committed by the courts to the Department of Corrections increased by 26%
  • From 1998 to 2004 the number of violent index crimes per 100,000 people decreased by 13.7%
  • Based on information  presented during this year’s inmate population forecasting process, the number of commitments is expected to grow at an average rate of 3.4% over each of the next 6 years

Points of Contact

  • For general inquiries about the Department’s activities, send an email to the Public Affairs Office at

News and Media

  • Kaine Plan Calls for Release of Inmates, read more.
  • Approximately 80% of the Department’s inmates have a history of substance abuse that contributed to their criminality. The Department offers intensive substance abuse treatment to 1,200 inmates in Therapeutic Community (TC) programs located at six prisons throughout the State.

53.1-40.01. Conditional release of geriatric prisoners.

Any person serving a sentence imposed upon a conviction for a felony offense, other than a Class 1 felony, (i) who has reached the age of sixty-five or older and who has served at least five years of the sentence imposed or (ii) who has reached the age of sixty or older and who has served at least ten years of the sentence imposed may petition the Parole Board for conditional release. The Parole Board shall promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this section.

(1994, 2nd Sp. Sess., cc. 1, 2; 2001, cc. 446, 487.)

Helpful Links

Virginia Department of Corrections

Research and Evaluation at a Glance

See also:

Washington Prison Overcrowding