The Virginia Department of Corrections is relocating all incarcerated women to a centralized area for what it calls a “gender responsivity plan.”
The plan calls for all women in state prisons to be relocated to the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, Virginia Correctional Center for Women and State Farm Work Center in Goochland and the Central Virginia Correctional Center for Women in Chesterfield, according to a press release. The women will be overseen by one administrative team.
The State Farm Work Center currently houses male offenders, who will be relocated to the Brunswick and Deerfield women’s work centers, which will be transitioned to house men.
All relocations will be completed by Nov. 4.
The plan calls for more vocational training opportunities for women, gender responsive and trauma informed care training for staff and offender peer support services.
The DOC “hopes” create reentry sites for women offenders in each region of the state to provide services for former inmates and have a nursery for women who will be released from incarceration by the time their children are 18 months old.
The press release doesn’t tie the change to the deaths of several women in state prisons this year, including three at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women.
In January, a federal judge ruled that the state wasn’t providing constitutionally mandated care at that facility, a decision the state is appealing to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
The prison has been under a federal court order since 2016 after reaching a settlement with a group of inmates that will bring its level of care up to the “bare minimum,” according to the Virginian-Pilot.