Inmate visitation has been restored at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center as of 9 a.m. July 10. The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office has been seeking to replace its 2005 video visitation system since 2013. The Virginia Beach City Council approved funding – $500,000 from the VBSO’s Special Revenue Fund – effective July 1, 2017, and the Sheriff’s Office immediately began the process of procuring a new system.
On March 31, 2018, the existing visitation system broke down and was unable to be repaired. In the intervening 100 days, Sheriff Ken Stolle and the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office worked to expedite the procurement and installation process for the replacement system, cutting months off of the normal timeline. The new system went live for scheduling at 4 p.m. on July 9, 2018, and visits resumed at 9 a.m. on July 10, 2018.
“I understand that three months is a long time to go without seeing your loved ones and I appreciate everyone’s patience as we’ve worked to restore visitation here at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center,” said Sheriff Ken Stolle. “While it’s unfortunate that the visitation system broke when it did, I am grateful that we were ahead of the game and had been proactive in obtaining funding and starting the process of procuring a new system nine months before the outage occurred.”
“I am also grateful to my staff, the City of Virginia Beach and our contractor, GTL, for their hard work on this project. Without their diligence and creativity, we would have been faced with a much longer outage,” Sheriff Stolle added. “I am proud of their efforts on behalf of our 1,400 inmates and their friends and family in the community.” During the outage, inmates were provided with one free five-minute phone call per day, totaling 35 minutes of free calls per inmate per week. Going forward, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office and GTL will be working to phase in additional improvements to the visitation system, including implementing web-based visits that will allow loved ones to visit from anywhere around the globe.