You might see our inmates out in the community in orange jumpsuits.
There are many ways offenders give back, including cleaning at Fire Department Stations, Harbor Park, Nauticus, Half Moone Cruise Terminal, Battleship Wisconsin, Old Dominion University, Parking Division, Scope, and the Zoo.
- Did you know inmates work nearly 200,000 hours for the City of Norfolk, saving taxpayers money each year?
- Inmates also clean up trash in neighborhoods, nearly 23,000 bags of trash each year!
- Offenders volunteer to work because they receive credit to pay off debt, giving them a better chance of starting a new life.
- Inmates cannot work on private property, only public spaces and 501 © Non-Profit Organizations.
Our Work Release Program provides paid employment with private employers for low level custody offenders. At night, these inmates return to jail to serve their sentences.
About 75-100 inmates each year are working for local businesses each day, making around $12 an hour to help pay off their court fines. The Work Release Program collects $150,000 in child support and over $55,000 in court costs/restitution annually, which helps with our goal of easing the transition from incarceration to the community for offenders.
Additional services provided by the Work Release Program include intensive drug treatment help at our jail, focusing on alcohol and drug rehabilitation, anger management, life skills and development. If inmates complete the 90 day course, they can get out of jail a couple months early.
Our office is the first in Virginia to start using GPS technology to monitor offenders in the community.
In 1986, the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office started monitoring inmates by “electronic ping” technology. The device only worked if the offender was close to the receiver at home. That’s why the NSO was eager to switch to GPS technology in 2005, tracking inmates off satellite towers. “That also allowed us to have exclusion zones and to have a 24/7 knowledge of where they are at all times,” Lt. Col. Mike O’Toole said.
Out of all the jails in Virginia, the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office has the most offenders on GPS monitoring each day.
Weekender Work Program
Each weekend, the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office allows nonviolent offenders to serve their weekend jail sentence working in the community doing civic league projects to improve their neighborhoods.
For assistance in your community, please call 441-6001 or send an email to Timothy Harkins (
Please call or fax at least two weeks before the date of your event.
Due to the popularity of this program, available dates go fast. For offender information for paying instructions and applications, please call 664-4948 or email Lisa Hales (