2 Virginia prisons plan $13.6M door replacement project after cell doors jammed by inmates


(WAVY file photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Department of Corrections plans to replace all cell doors at the Sussex I and II prisons because inmates have jammed the doors, causing them not to close properly.

The project will replace all inmate cell doors at the two Waverly facilities at a cost of $13.6 million. The process will start in about 60 days and will take three years.

The doors are currently secured with keyed locks, but inmates are able to jam the doors to prevent them from closing completely. The cell doors are opened and closed by the pod’s control booth.

The $13.6-million project was brought about because inmates were jamming the doors so they could get out of their cells without staff allowing or approving it.

There are usually two inmates per cell. Sussex I and II house high-security level offenders, unlike many other Department of Corrections inmates who live in dorms.

During the time keyed locks are in use, additional staff will be assigned to each pod at the prison in case of emergency. The staff will be on hand to ensure inmates can be evacuated quickly.

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