Information for and about our inmates
Schedule a Visit
You must be at least 18 years of age to visit.
Only the following forms of identification are accepted:
- A valid state Issued Driver’s License
- A valid DMV Identification Card
- A valid Military ID Card
- A valid Passport
We do not accept:
- Identification that is taped, altered, or expired
- Social Service ID cards
- Work ID cards
- DMV Temporary papers
Due to COVID-19 children are not permitted in the visitation area at this time (Normally, 2 adults or 1 adult and up to 2 children are allowed to visit on Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays).
Inmates are allowed 2 (20 minute) visits per week.
Cell phones, pagers, recording devices, cameras, bags, purses, backpacks, weapons of any kind are prohibited in the visitation room.
Food, Beverages, and Gum are prohibited in the visitation room.
Lockers may be used at the owner’s expense. No change is provided.
Any threat to the safety and/or security will result in immediate termination or denial of the visit.
Visitors and their property are subject to search at any time.
Visits may be interrupted due to emergency situations.
Any articles of clothing considered to lewd or provocative (tank tops, halter tops, etc...) are prohibited.
All visits are subject to recording.
Loud or disorderly conduct is prohibited.
The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office reserves the right to deny any member of the public a visit for known past violations of the Norfolk City Jail policy and procedures.
The Norfolk City Jail has launched a new video visitation system which allows the public to have more timely visits with inmates. The VUGATE Inmate Video Visitation System streamlines the inmate/civilian visitation process and eliminates many of the common problems associated with visitations. This new state-of-the art communications technology has not only decreased the wait time significantly, it’s also increased privacy and security.
This video visitation system has solved many problems in corrections facilities across the country. Sheriff Joe Baron expects it to be very successful in Norfolk as well where the jail receives more than 40,000 visitors a year.
The new system:
- Speeds the visitation process. Now a visit begins almost immediately. Previously, a visitor could wait hours.
- Eliminates visitor movement through secure areas
- Uses a handset to talk, allowing for more private conversations with fewer interruptions.
- Is located in the main lobby of the Public Safety Building.
- Times a visit for 20 minutes which starts once both parties pick up the handset to talk
- Has a video screen that blinks and beeps three times one minute before ending the visit.
Premium Fresh Meals
811 Market Place
The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office opened the 811 Market Place to serve your loved ones fresh food in jail. This program offers you the opportunity to provide a meal to a loved one during their stay. It also gives a select few people the opportunity to work in the kitchen preparing meals and gaining skills which they can take with them when they are finished with their stay. Our cooks prepare the hot meals in house, and we hand deliver orders every day.
We are excited about this program and look forward to providing your loved ones a gift from you.
Corresponding with Inmates
Correspondence between inmates and their relatives, friends, judges, and other officials is desirable, constructive, and highly encouraged.
Inmate Mailing and Return Address:
Norfolk City Jail
(Inmate’s full name, Inmate ID #, which you can find using our “Inmate Lookup” )
811 East City Hall Ave.
Norfolk, VA 23510
- Incoming mail is opened and examined for contraband.
- There is no limit to the number of letters inmates may send at their own expense.
- You may subscribe to newspapers, magazines, educational or correspondence materials, and soft-bound books for Norfolk City Jail inmates. These materials must be received directly from the publisher or bookstore, and must not contain references to violent overthrow of government or any authority under which an inmate is held, drug or gang related material, information relating to the fabrication of weapons or explosive devices, or any sexually explicit material.
- Inmates may have in their possession a total of five pieces of reading material only (i.e. book, magazines, crossword puzzle books, bibles, dictionaries, pamphlets). This also includes items mailed to the inmates from the publisher. All books must be paperback – no spiral bindings or hardcovers allowed.
- Unacceptable items are returned at the expense of the inmate or sender.
- If the cost of returning the unacceptable items is not paid by either the inmate or the sender, the contraband will be contributed to a non-profit organization or destroyed.
- Any correspondence items in question require delivery approval from the Officer in Charge of Corrections.
- Inmates are prohibited from corresponding with another inmate incarcerated at the Norfolk City Jail, or other local, state, or federal institutions, unless it is otherwise determined that such correspondence is in the best interest of both the inmates and the institutions. Only immediate family requests are considered, and these requests are forwarded to the Officer in Charge of Corrections for consideration and approval. If the correspondence involves two institutions, both must approve.
- The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office does not accept packages or large envelopes through the mail or over the counter, and only flat mail is accepted. All other mail is returned.
Sheriff Joe Baron and his staff’s top concerns are safety and security for inmates. The Norfolk City Jail consistently passes and exceeds inspections and standards. Sheriff Baron actively pursues, implements and supports initiatives to improve jail conditions and provide rehabilitation services, including:
- Improving medical care
- Implementing a Community Corrections program that allows inmates to work off fines
- Developing programs, such as electronic surveillance and work release, to alleviate overcrowding
- Creating an Education Department to help inmates earn their General Education Diplomas
- Installing a video visitation system for more timely, private visits between inmates and their loved ones
- If you would like to tour our jail, you can make an appointment.
The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office is proud to be the first in South Hampton Roads to win accreditation. Meeting the high standards of The Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission is the best measure of a law enforcement agency’s compliance with professional law enforcement standards. It’s a reflection of the effectiveness and efficiency of the jail, as well as the quality of the deputies. Please take time to learn more about all of the programs and services available to the inmates.
The Code of Virginia 53.1-131.3 authorizes localities to charge inmates a reasonable fee, not to exceed $3.00 per day, to defray the cost associated with the prisoner’s keep. Such funds shall be retained in the locality where the funds were collected and shall be used for general jail purposes. Currently, the City of Norfolk has approved charging $2.00 per day.
The Norfolk City Jail has a contract with Wellpath to provide medical care. Wellpath is one of the nation’s premier correctional healthcare companies, with all medical services meeting national NCCHC standards.
Medical staff are present in the facility 24 hours/day 365/year.
A doctor, dentist, psychiatrist, and nurse practitioner are available to inmates Monday-Friday. Additioanlly, a doctor, psychiatrist, and dentist are 'on call' 24/7.
No one is denied medical care due to inability to pay a co-payment.
For more information visit Wellpath , or contact the NSO OIC of Medical at 757-664-4958
Inmate Property Retrieval
Property being held by the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office can be recovered at the property window located at the back of the jail.
Property Window hours of operation are:
- Monday to Friday, 7:00am – 4:00pm
- Closed on weekends and holidays
Directions: Take Union Street past City Hall and proceed to the intersection with East Street. Cross the intersection and the window will be on your left.
An inmate must take his/her property with them immediately upon release from the jail.
If an inmate is transferred to another lockup or to the state (corrections), he/she (or family member) has 30 days to retrieve his/her property.
Bring the receipt you received during intake and a photo I.D. To claim the property of an inmate at the Norfolk City Jail the inmate is required to complete a property release form. To receive the property you must have the property release form and show proper identification at the time of pick-up.
New Admits to the NCJ cannot bring any personal items with them when booked into the facility. Any items found on your person will be vouchered and stored for pickup upon release.
However, certain approved items listed below can be either purchased or requested via an indigent application. These items must be kept inside the issued personal property container which can be searched without notice for the safety and security of the facility.
- Personal hygiene items
- Canteen items
- 5 books, magazines,
- 3 personal legal pads (soft back)
- Religious materials
- All personal undergarments
- Legal materials
- Personal ID
- Cup and spoon
- Authorized medications
- Prescription eyeglasses
- Newspapers (less than 3 days old)
Jail Issued Property
Residents of the Norfolk City Jail are issued the following items upon intake.
- 1 Norfolk City Jail Jumpsuit
- 1 Blue Property Container
- 1 Pair of shower shoes
- 1 Personal Hygiene kit
- 1 Mattress with pillow attached
- 1 Blanket
- 2 Sheets
- 1 Spoon
- 1 Cup
If an item is damaged missing or destroyed the inmate is charged the price of that item to replace it.
Benefits of Hiring Inmates
Businesses can receive a $2,400 to $9,000 tax break for keeping an inmate employed full time for two years.
- Inmates are all non-violent offenders; for example, many are serving time for not paying child support.
- About 50 inmates work for local businesses daily, making around $9 an hour to help pay off their court fines.
- In fact, our Work Release Program collects $150,000 in child support and about $55,000 in court costs annually, helping offenders re-enter society with less debt.
- Inmates choose to participate in the program because of the opportunity for a second chance.
- Business owners can select their inmates. If you are not satisfied with their work, we can select another inmate.
- Deputies nominate inmates based on their good work ethic in our Work Force program (i.e. shoveling snow for the City or cleaning Scope).
- Inmates will not be late because deputies drop them off at work, and pick inmates up to return to jail at night.
- You do not have to pay workers compensation if inmates are injured on the job.
*You must have a business license, and your business must be within our travel area.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program
A court ordered, 90 day Individual and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Program for individuals with co-occurring disorders (one or more substance abuse disorders and one or more psychiatric disorders at the same time). Funding for this program will serve 15 offender groups each week for three years and excludes state inmates.
CBT is a form of psychotherapy that teaches offenders specific cognitive and behavior skills to help them manage depression, mood swings, anxiety, stress, etc.
Addiction is a disease. Focus is to learn about addiction process and how alcohol/drugs have affected the offender’s body and life.
Group sessions focus on the desire to use, recent relapses, struggles with potent emotions, and/or conflicts with other group members or family members.
One treatment plan addresses both substance abuse and mental health needs. Integrated services are important because people with co-occurring disorders have a better chance of recovery from both when they receive combined or integrated mental health and substance abuse treatment from the same clinician or treatment team.
ADDICTION RECOVERY GRANT PROGRAM
The Addiction Recovery Program aims to help our inmates with substance abuse and other mental health issues address their illnesses and prepare for a better life upon their release from incarceration. It is designed to provide co-occurring substance abuse and mental health inmates a treatment program offering cognitive behavior treatment therapy with group and individual counseling from licensed clinical therapists, reentry classes and services, and trauma informed care classes.
The goals of this program are to decrease recidivism, enhance public safety, and close gaps in the existing continuum of care to the city’s vulnerable populations. This provides programming and release plans for mental health inmates with an in-custody program prior to their release from custody. We are the first Sheriff’s Office to offer this kind of treatment in Virginia. It was funded by a $48,000 grant from the Department of Criminal Justice Services.
Each Thursday, eligible inmates participate in weekly NA/AA group alcohol and drug treatment. Classes for men and women are on Thursday nights. The Tidewater AA Council provides the group counseling service.
For more information, call us at 664-4191.
Norfolk Circuit Court Reentry Docket (NCCRD)
The Norfolk Circuit Court Reentry Docket (NCCRD) is a coordinated effort of Norfolk Circuit Court, Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Office, Norfolk Sheriff’s Office, Norfolk Probation and Parole, Norfolk Public Defender’s Office, and City of Norfolk.
NCCRD is intended to develop and promote an effective and efficient system of substance abuse treatment, accountability, and successful reintegration into the community for its participants.
NCCRD will provide coordinated and comprehensive reentry planning, supervision, substance abuse treatment, case management, and judicial oversight with the goals of reducing recidivism, increasing public safety, and increasing participation in targeted services to meet offender needs.
NCCRD is a Second Chance Act federally funded program. It is the first of its kind in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
RE-ENTRY DOCKET PHASES
Pre-Release Phase: Norfolk City Jail Programming
6 months prior to release date
Screened for need/eligibility of the following: Life skills and cognitive thinking, employment skills, anger management, money management, domestic violence education, substance abuse treatment, GED preparation/exam, work release or GPS monitoring, and housing services.
The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office offers a wide range of opportunities to help inmates successfully reenter society.
GED/Adult Literacy Program
Inmates who cannot read, write or perform simple math computations are identified for the Literacy Program.
Pre-General and General Educational Development Preparatory Programs are geared specifically toward an inmates’ diagnostic levels for Writing, Social Studies, Natural Sciences, Interpreting Literature Arts, and Math.
Additionally, in a partnership with the Norfolk Public Schools and in accordance with the Individuals Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), educational services are provided to inmates ages 13-22 with a history of special education.
The program provides services in the areas of GED skills, basic academics, remedial reading, and social skills. A variety of teaching techniques and expertise are implemented to ensure the learning of inmates who exhibit a variety of disabilities and learning modalities are met.
The following items are considered to be contraband by the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office as it applies to the residents and staff:
- Any articles of clothing found to be altered for another purpose.
- Any flammable device
- Provocative Drawings or Pictures
- Excessive amounts of authorized items
- Items which are illegal to posses by law
- Electronic Devices (Unless Medical Related)
And any other items deemed to be contraband by the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office.
Alcohol & Chemical Treatment Drug Education: a 90-day session, taught by members of the Norfolk Apostolic Church, an evidence-based cognitive behavior session, focusing on addiction and recovery
Thinking for a Change: An integrated cognitive behavioral change program incorporating research from cognitive restricting theory, social skills development, and the learning and learning and use of problem solving skills
AA/NA: Weekly Alcoholics Anonymous & Narcotics Anonymous are held by Norfolk Jail volunteers. The Tidewater AA Council provides the group counseling sessions.
CHOICES: A re-entry program focusing on a variety of subjects such as building self-esteem, decision making, domestic violence, sexual abuse, health education, employment preparation and addiction recovery
CBT Program: An evidence based program is a form of psychotherapy that teaches offenders specific cognitive and behavior skills to help them management depression, mood swings, anxiety and stress
Renewal: A 90-day spiritual re-entry, reconnecting inmates with a higher power
Second Chances: a program designed to reconnect fathers with their estranged families. Fathers are taken on educational field trips to strengthen and unify parenting relations
Motherhood/ The Messages Project: a program designed to assist in the first step toward reunifying inmates with their families
Fatherhood: A program designed to reunite fathers with their children
GED/Adult Literacy Program:
- Barber Training: Barber training and license course is a 6 month skilled based professional barbering classroom and hands-on training
- Landscaping Design: During this 8 week class students will learn the 12 step process of designing a functional landscape plan
- Art Therapy: Introduction to art therapy workshop, offering mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational and expressive therapy. Facilitated by a volunteer art therapist.
- Virginia Community Yoga Project: This course focuses on teaching mindfulness practices which include yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, nonviolent communication and reconciliation.
- Creative Writing/Writing Poetry: In this 8-week workshop, students will be reading, discussing and practicing the craft of poetry and creative writing.
- Introduction to Philosophy: This course provides an introduction to the study of philosophy.
- Music and Writing: In this class, students write and record songs in diverse musical genres. The program also recognizes the transformative potential of music and writing, seeking to facilitate opportunities for creative expression that cultivate mental and spiritual wellbeing.
- Public Speaking and Communication: Public Speaking and Communications is a student driven course that identifies different types of public speaking and pursues strategies to engage in weekly composition and practice applications.
- 20th Century African American Music: In this course students conduct historic and critical analyses of African American music covering the 20th Century.
- 3 Principles: The empowerment class teaches individuals how to access and sustain inner health and resilience. The class provides support for those who have been impacted by addiction, mental health issues and offending behavior.
- Barber Training: Barber training and license course is a 6 month skilled based professional barbering classroom and hands-on training
Call 757-664-4191 for information!
The Norfolk City Jail provides canteen services which allow family and friends of inmates to provide them with goods to make their stay at the jail a bit more comfortable. These include fresh premium meals (which you must order yourself), as well as snacks and some items of personal clothing, which inmates can purchase themselves using their (outside-funded) canteen account, or which family and friends can purchase directly and have provided to their inmate.
In order to ensure that your loved one receives canteen during their stay at the Norfolk City Jail, please follow these directions.
To deposit money to an inmate’s canteen account, please mail postal money orders with the inmate’s name and ‘TRN’ clearly printed to:
(Inmate Name and TRN Number)
P. O. Box 3908
Norfolk, VA 23514
The inmate’s name and ‘TRN’ number must be included on the money order and ‘payable to’ the inmate.
Please send only Postal Money Orders.
Other ways to credit Canteen accounts:
- Pay by phone: 1-866-345-1884
- Online: www.accesscorrections.com
- Use the kiosk machine in the main lobby of the Public Safety Building, 811 E. City Hall Ave.
Keefe Commissary Network runs the commissary and canteen, but the Sheriff’s Office oversees the program.
"Pathway" - An Educational Journey
Inmate Educational Pathway Programs Offered
(please note: This is subject to change)
Instructional Phase 1
- Adult Basic Literacy (led by NSO GED teacher and Humanities Behind Bars volunteers)
- GED (taught by Norfolk Public Schools special education instructors)
- Humanities Behind Bars (5 classes offered ranging from The Politics of US History to 20th Century African American Music); taught by local professors and educational volunteers
- Seven Cities Writers Project (creative writing class taught by local educator)
- Other Educational Class Instructions
Instructional Phase 2 “Evidence Based”
- Alcohol / Chemical Dependency Treatment
- Anger Management
- Domestic Violence
- Balancing Your Life
- Before and After
- Thinking for Change
- 3 Principles
- Other classes to address Risk Factors
Instructional Phase 3
- Barber Training
- Cosmetology Training
- Food Handlers (3 years) or Serve Safe (5 years)
- Fork Lift Certificate / OSHA (3 days x 5Hrs)
- Landscape Design Course (8 Weeks)
- Money/Financial Management
- Religious Studies
- Retail Customer Service
- Small Business Operations
- Other Vocational Classes as approved
Community Partners Identified Phase 4 (Released to Community)
- Church Groups
- Non- Profit Org.
See Lifestyles for a description of each course
IN AN EMERGENCY
In the event of an emergency such as the death of a family member, please call the Norfolk City Jail Chaplain at (757) 664-4954.
If you would like to deliver the emergency message in person you are required to follow normal visitation guidelines.
Bodily fluid, waste
All tobacco products or incendiary items or devices i.e. matches, lighters, etc.
Any envelopes over 6×9 inches
Money orders/cash/checks/credit, debit, and phone cards
Blank stationary, blank paper, stamps and/or envelopes
Mail sprayed with perfume/cologne, any unknown substance or lipstick
Musical cards, cards with ribbons, stickers, velvet, glitter, plastic or other attachments, newspaper clippings, pages torn from magazines or books or pop-up cards
Letters with crayon/letters with color pencil markings
Unauthorized correspondence from other facilities, jails, etc.
Magazines and books not sent directly from the publisher
Magazines and/or books containing sexually explicit material, information about the fabrication of weapons or explosive devices, any gang related material, literature advocating overthrow of government, whether sent from publisher or citizen
No return address
Gang related material/coded letters
Printed internet pages
Copies of pages from books (copyright material)
Lyrics or sheet music
Envelopes with bubble/insulated wrap
Priority Automotive Training Center
Priority Automotive is joining with Tidewater Community College and the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office to put the brakes on crime and give repeat, non-violent offenders a new lease on life. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam joined Priority Automotive, TCC and the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office Thursday afternoon to unveil the automobile dealer’s new Priority Technical Training Center in Chesapeake, where 16 non-violent offenders from the Norfolk Jail have already begun training for solid jobs as auto technicians.
“Teaching non-violent offenders to make a good honest living and put their past in the rearview mirror is good for our communities, good for our law enforcement agencies, and good for Priority,” Priority CEO and President Dennis Ellmer said. “This may seem like an unlikely partnership, but it just makes perfect sense.”
Built and funded entirely by Priority, the state-of-the-art automotive center opens as dealerships across the country scramble to find highly-skilled auto technicians to service vehicles that grow more technologically advanced by the day. Ellmer said he got the idea during a trip to Fiji, where he met a tour guide who earned a tourism degree while incarcerated in a local jail. “I thought, ‘Wow, we have to do something like this back home,’” Ellmer said.
So he did. Not long after his return, Ellmer shared his idea with former TCC President Edna Baehre-Kolovani, who loved the idea. The pair approached the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office, where Lt. Col. Mike O’Toole helped bring the concept to life. “We have people coming out of our jail with few opportunities for worthwhile employment because of their past,” O’Toole said. “And with no way to find a decent job and make an honest living, they sometimes resort to old habits and wind up right back here in jail. There’s both a social and financial cost to that for taxpayers. It can be a revolving door that just keeps spinning. This program is designed to put an end to that.”
In fact, it costs Norfolk taxpayers an average of $26,000 to house a single offender for one year, said Norfolk Sheriff Joe Baron. “What we know is over 96% of our offenders are coming back to our community,” Baron said. “We also know former offenders are less likely to return to jail if they have gainful employment at the time of their release. By funding the cost to build the center and pay the trainees’ tuition, what Priority is doing here is nothing short of life changing for these inmates. And great for the community.”
Sheriff Baron’s office has been instrumental in implementation of the program by evaluating and selecting participants, providing transportation to and from class and work, and providing tools and facilities for inmates to study and complete homework assignments. The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office has had a work release program in place for more than 30 years, with inmates working at businesses in the community. “This is a logical next step,” Sheriff Baron said. “Combining our work release program with an educational vocational program is a natural next step in promoting rehabilitation and saving tax dollars by reducing the number of people who return to jail.”
Located just behind the Priority Infiniti dealership in Chesapeake, the new Priority Technical Training Center has been two years in the making. The Center includes 12 repair bays, and will train 16 non-violent offenders for careers in automotive repair through a 2-year certified program offered by Tidewater Community College.Tidewater Community College President Gregory DeCinque sees the program as a valuable resource for Hampton Roads. “The Priority program is the latest example of TCC focusing on access to educational opportunities and responding to the needs of the automotive industry to train additional technicians. Ultimately, this will not only improve people’s lives but also our regional economy,” he said.
Classes start in September and end in May. Trainees will attend class full time two days a week and work at Priority dealerships three days a week. After completing their second semester, trainees will be offered full-time jobs at one of 14 Priority dealerships across Hampton Roads. They will also have the opportunity to continue their education, earn new certifications and even earn an associate’s degree from TCC.
“This is not just about saving taxpayers money or filling jobs at my dealerships,” Ellmer said. “This is about giving these people a sense of worth, a second chance, and an opportunity to live the right way and do the right thing,” Ellmer said. “And we think that’s good for everyone.”