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April 15, 2009 - Opening of the Western Virginia Regional Jail

link to media release

March 6, 2009 - Western Virginia Regional Jail Formally Dedicated (An Open House for the public followed the ceremony)

link to media release

November 21, 2008 - Western Virginia Regional Jail’s 1st Academy of Correctional Officers Graduate

link to media release

November 21, 2008 - Western Virginia Regional Jail’s 1st Academy of Correctional Officers Graduate

link to media release

September 1, 2008 - Western Virginia Regional Jail’s 1st Academy of (55) Recruits Start Training

link to media release

April 9, 2008 - Western Virginia Regional Jail Sets Roof Top Heating Units by Air Crane

link to media release

April 9, 2008 (Roanoke County, VA) The Western Virginia Regional Jail will be setting the facility’s rooftop heating and air conditioning units by Air-Crane helicopters on Saturday, April 19, 2008 at 10:00 am. 

The construction of the regional jail is at 52% complete and is proceeding on schedule for the targeted opening date in March 2009.  The entire wall and roofing structure is in place and work continues on the roofing, mechanical, and electrical components within the interior of the facility.

In this phase of the construction an Air-Crane helicopter will be used to lift the (53) heating and air-conditioning units and (15) exhaust fans to the roof for installation.  The units being utilized for this facility weigh between 493lbs and 3158 lbs. These units will be on site prior to the arrival of the Air-Crane unit from The Roanoke Regional Airport.   This method of installation was necessary due to logistical reasons impacted by the layout of the building.   The process is scheduled to start at 10:00 am and is expected to be completed in three to five hours.   The activity will be confined to the jail site and we do not expect any disruption to the neighborhoods or traffic patterns surrounding the jail site.  We will have staff on site throughout the duration of the event.  The site will be closed to visitors during this process with the exception of the members of the media, where a specific observation area will be provided.  If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact Deputy Superintendent Bobby Russell at the contact information listed above. 



March 27, 2008 - Progress continues as jail "rises out of the ground"

Construction of the Western Virginia Regional Jail near Dixie Caverns is proceeding on schedule. Approximately 150 construction employees are on site daily, and over 50% of the construction work is now complete.

All of the pre-cast concrete cells and panels have been installed; work continues on the internal walls. Rooftop equipment, including heat and air conditioning units, will be installed by helicopter on April 19.

Training for jail corrections officers will begin in fall 2008. The regional jail is scheduled to open in March 2009. When completed, this 264,000 sq. ft. facility will provide a rated capacity for 605 inmates with another 200 beds double-bunked, for a total capacity of 805 inmates.

The Western Virginia Regional Jail is a partnership of the counties of Franklin, Montgomery, Roanoke, and the City of Salem. 



February 8, 2008 - Roanoke Times Article on the Western Virginia Regional Jail

Click here for link to article.



October 4, 2007 - Western Virginia Regional Launches Website

The Western Virginia Regional Jail is proud to announce the launch of its new website, featuring information about the jail's mission and board members, LEED certification, and employment opportunities. The new site also features a gallery of construction pictures that show the daily progress being made toward the jail's scheduled March 2009 opening.


February 20, 2007 - Groundbreaking Held for New Western Virginia Regional Jail

Members Solidify Unprecedented Effort in Regional Cooperation

With nearly 200 people in attendance, members of the Western Virginia Regional Jail Authority turn over the cermonial first shovels of earth to kick off the construction of the new regional jail facility.

Members of the Western Virginia Regional Authority broke ground today on a project that will link the New River and Roanoke Valleys for generations. The joint project known as the Western Virginia Regional Jail will serve the future public safety needs of the City of Salem, and Counties of Franklin, Montgomery and Roanoke and set the pace for future initiatives.

The new 264,000 square foot regional jail will be located on approximately 40 acres of land off of West River Road, near Dixie Caverns in Roanoke County. Elected officials, law enforcement agencies, and staff from across the New River and Roanoke Valleys have worked since 2004 to organize, design, and build a shared facility to better address the region’s current as well as future public safety needs.

The extent of this need is reflected in the size and scope of the project:

  • Currently, the jail facilities in the member jurisdictions are operating at two to three times their rated capacity.

  • When completed in January 2009, the jail will include 605 beds, with the possibility of double-bunking up to 200 beds, for a total bed-count of 805.

  • The jail is expected to employ about 200 people.

Although the Regional Jail will address the present need for more space and updated facilities, the Authority is not content to construct just another building. Mindful that this facility is not simply for the here and now, they have made a conscious effort to design the building with the needs of the future in mind. The Regional Jail Authority is committed to utilizing advances in technology to streamline the operation of the facility, to conserve resources, and to better address the needs of the environment.

Several “green” characteristics have been included in the design of the building that will make it more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The Authority is committed to high standards for air quality, the use of energy efficient equipment, minimization of runoff through effective storm water management and re-use of storm water, and the management of light and other energy use.

Indeed the Authority will seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and plans to implement the following practices: Capture and re-use of roof top rain water to be used in the laundry operations; use of a vacuum assisted plumbing system and water electronic monitoring system to minimize the purchase, use and treatment of water; and energy management systems for lighting and air handling.

Inmate visitation will be provided via video visitation or ‘teleconferencing’ equipment that will be located at the member jurisdiction’s local jail. This will minimize traffic to the Regional Jail, reduce travel time and expense for the visitor, and enhance jail security.

Most of the inmates housed at the Regional Jail will be sentenced inmates. Some may be inmates with medical needs, women, special populations, or those needing to be separated. All community-based programs will be administered by the member jurisdictions through their local jails. In addition, all releases from custody will be from a member jurisdiction’s local jail and not from the Regional Jail.

The total cost of construction and land for the new jail is $94 million dollars. Of that amount, the member jurisdictions will pay approximately $49 million. The Commonwealth of Virginia will pick up the remainder of the cost.