The Resource Agency history of the Virginia Dept. of Corrections
- Agency history of the Virginia Dept. of Corrections
- Biographical or historical data
- Although the Virginia State Penitentiary was built in Richmond in 1797, a statewide penal system was not developed until over a century later. An act passed by the General Assembly on March 13, 1908, created the Board of Charities and Corrections to administer the penitentiary and several penal farms. The name of the board was changed to the State Board of Public Welfare by the General Assembly on February 27, 1922. The state government reorganization act passed on April 18, 1927, created the Department of Public Welfare to administer the prison system. Legislation approved March 13, 1942, created both the Department of Corrections and the Parole Board as independent agencies. Corrections departments were merged into the Department of Welfare and Institutions by a government reorganization act approved by the General Assembly on March 30, 1948. This department remained intact until March 9, 1974, when the General Assembly passed an act dividing it into the Department of Welfare, now the Department of Social Services and the Department of Corrections. Three major responsibilities were given to the Department of Corrections: youth, adult services, and probation and parole services.
- Responsibility for juveniles was removed from the Department in 1990 with the establishment of a separate Department of Youth and Family Services. In 1996, the Department of Youth and Family Services was renamed the Department of Juvenile Justice.
- The Department of Corrections is the administrative arm of the State Board of Corrections, which establishes rules and policies governing the correctional system. The Virginia Parole Board, which has the authority to grant and revoke paroles, was made independent of the department after July 1, 1984.
- The Department of Corrections is administered by a director who is appointed by the governor and subject to legislative confirmation. The State Board of Corrections consists of nine members appointed by the governor for four-years terms. The mission of the department is to "Protect the people from a crime by assisting communities in preventing juvenile delinquency, controlling persons sentenced by the courts, and offering programs to help offenders lead crime-free lives after release."
- There are three major divisions: Administration, Institutions, which has regional court service units, and Community Corrections, which has regional probation and parole services.
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