The Director shall be the chief executive officer of the Department and shall have the following duties and powers:
3. To employ such personnel and develop and implement such programs as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this title, subject to Chapter 29 (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) of Title 2.2, and within the limits of appropriations made therefor by the General Assembly;
4. To establish and maintain a general system of schools for persons committed to the institutions and community-based programs for adults as set forth in §§ 53.1-67.7 and 53.1-67.8. Such system shall include, as applicable, elementary, secondary, post-secondary, career and technical education, adult, and special education schools.
a. The Director shall employ a Superintendent who will oversee the operation of educational and vocational programs in all institutions and community-based programs for adults as set forth in §§ 53.1-67.7 and 53.1-67.8 operated by the Department. The Department shall be designated as a local education agency (LEA) but shall not be eligible to receive state funds appropriated for direct aid to public education.
b. When the Department employs a teacher licensed by the Board of Education to provide instruction in the schools of the correctional centers, the Department of Human Resource Management shall establish salary schedules for the teachers which endeavor to be competitive with those in effect for the school division in which the correctional center is located.
c. The Superintendent shall develop a functional literacy program for inmates testing below a selected grade level, which shall be at least at the twelfth grade level. The program shall include guidelines for implementation and test administration, participation requirements, criteria for satisfactory completion, and a strategic plan for encouraging enrollment in college or an accredited vocational training program or other accredited continuing education program.
d. For the purposes of this section, the term “functional literacy” shall mean those educational skills necessary to function independently in society, including, but not limited to, reading, writing, comprehension, and arithmetic computation.
e. In evaluating a prisoner’s educational needs and abilities pursuant to § 53.1-32.1, the Superintendent shall create a system for identifying prisoners with learning disabilities.
5. a. To make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of the Department’s duties and the execution of its powers under this title, including, but not limited to, contracts with the United States, other states, and agencies and governmental subdivisions of this Commonwealth, and contracts with corporations, partnerships, or individuals which include, but are not limited to, the purchase of water or wastewater treatment services or both as necessary for the expansion or construction of correctional facilities, consistent with applicable standards and goals of the Board;
b. Notwithstanding the Director’s discretion to make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of the Department’s duties and the execution of its powers under this title, upon determining that it shall be desirable to contract with a public or private entity for the provision of community-based residential services pursuant to Chapter 5 (§ 53.1-177 et seq.), the Director shall notify the local governing body of the jurisdiction in which the facility is to be located of the proposal and of the facility’s proposed location and provide notice, where requested, to the chief law-enforcement officer for such locality when an offender is placed in the facility at issue;
c. Notwithstanding the Director’s discretion to make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of the Department’s duties and the execution of its powers under this title, upon determining that it is necessary to transport Virginia prisoners through or to another state and for other states to transport their prisoners within the Commonwealth, the Director may execute reciprocal agreements with other states’ corrections agencies governing such transports that shall include provisions allowing each state to retain authority over its prisoners while in the other state.
6. To accept, hold and enjoy gifts, donations and bequests on behalf of the Department from the United States government and agencies and instrumentalities thereof, and any other source, subject to the approval of the Governor. To these ends, the Director shall have the power to comply with such conditions and execute such agreements as may be necessary, convenient or desirable, consistent with applicable standards and goals of the Board;
7. To collect data pertaining to the demographic characteristics of adults, and juveniles who are adjudicated as adults, incarcerated in state correctional institutions, including, but not limited to, the race or ethnicity, age, and gender of such persons, whether they are a member of a criminal gang, and the types of and extent to which health-related problems are prevalent among such persons. Beginning July 1, 1997, such data shall be collected, tabulated quarterly, and reported by the Director to the Governor and the General Assembly at each regular session of the General Assembly thereafter. The report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports;
8. To make application to the appropriate state and federal entities so as to provide any prisoner who is committed to the custody of the state a Department of Motor Vehicles approved identification card that would expire 90 days from issuance, a copy of his birth certificate if such person was born in the Commonwealth, and a social security card from the Social Security Administration;
9. To forward to the Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council, updated on a monthly basis, a list of all identified criminal gang members incarcerated in state correctional institutions. The list shall contain identifying information for each criminal gang member, as well as his criminal record;
10. To give notice, to the attorney for the Commonwealth prosecuting a defendant for an offense that occurred in a state correctional facility, of that defendant’s known gang membership. The notice shall contain identifying information for each criminal gang member as well as his criminal record;
11. To designate employees of the Department with internal investigations authority to have the same power as a sheriff or a law-enforcement officer in the investigation of allegations of criminal behavior affecting the operations of the Department. Such employees shall be subject to any minimum training standards established by the Department of Criminal Justice Services under § 9.1-102 for law-enforcement officers prior to exercising any law-enforcement power granted under this subdivision. Nothing in this section shall be construed to grant the Department any authority over the operation and security of local jails not specified in any other provision of law. The Department shall investigate allegations of criminal behavior in accordance with a written agreement entered into with the Department of State Police. The Department shall not investigate any action falling within the authority vested in the Office of the State Inspector General pursuant to Chapter 3.2 (§ 2.2-307 et seq.) of Title 2.2 unless specifically authorized by the Office of the State Inspector General;
12. To enforce and direct the Department to enforce regulatory policies promulgated by the Board prohibiting the possession of obscene materials, as defined in Article 5 (§ 18.2-372 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 18.2, by prisoners incarcerated in state correctional facilities; and
13. To develop and administer a survey of each correctional officer, as defined in § 53.1-1, who resigns, is terminated, or is transitioned to a position other than correctional officer for the purpose of evaluating employment conditions and factors that contribute to or impede the retention of correctional officers.
Code 1950, §§ 53-19.8, 53-19.14; 1974, cc. 44, 45; 1982, c. 636; 1994, 2nd Sp. Sess., c. 7; 1995, c. 725; 1997, c. 894; 2003, cc. 94, 516, 854; 2006, cc. 431, 500; 2007, c. 392; 2009, cc. 39, 621; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2013, cc. 143, 214; 2014, c. 84; 2015, cc. 99, 293; 2016, c. 205.