RD283 - 2012 Compensation Board Mental Illness in Jails Report

Executive Summary:

In the month of July, the Commonwealth of Virginia supported 64 local and regional jails and jail farms. Of this number there are 24 county jails, 13 city jails, 25 regional jails and 2 jail farms. City and county jails are operated under the authority of the sheriff in that locality. Jail farms are operated under the authority of the locality they serve by an appointed superintendent. Regional jails are operated under the authority of a regional jail board or authority consisting of at least the sheriff and one other representative from each participating jurisdiction. All but three regional jails are operated by a superintendent chosen by the regional board or authority. Alleghany Regional Jail, Rockingham-Harrisonburg Regional Jail and Eastern Shore Regional Jail are all operated by the sheriff of the locality in which the jail resides.

A survey of mental illness in Virginia jails was developed by the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services (DBHDS) and staff of the Senate Finance Committee and Compensation Board. The Compensation Board posted the mental health survey on its website in August 2012 for completion by Compensation Board funded local and regional jails. With the support of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association and the Virginia Association of Regional Jails, the Compensation Board received surveys from 62 out of 64 local and regional jails. The Newport News City Jail Farm did not respond to the survey, as they indicated that all mentally ill offenders are held at the Newport News City Jail. Meherrin River Regional Jail, which now serves Brunswick County, Dinwiddie County and Mecklenburg County, submitted no survey data, as this facility opened July 1, 2012.

The goal of the survey was to provide information to the Virginia General Assembly, the Compensation Board and the DBHDS regarding jail resource needs for appropriately managing inmates with mental illness. Survey questions directed jail personnel to report data as reflected for the month of July 2012, or for FY2012. The data provided in this report is reflective only of local and state responsible inmates housed in local and regional jails and does not include federal inmates or contract inmates from other states. The data in this report is as reported to the Compensation Board by the local and regional jails in their 2012 mental health survey, submitted as of August 26, 2012.