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Stafford Community Corrections Alternative Program, lauded as a life-saving alternative to prison, to close

18 Dec 2023, Jail News, by

Stafford’s renowned Community Corrections Alternative Program will cease operations, along with three other Virginia correctional facilities.

Stafford Community Corrections Alternative Program, lauded as a life-saving alternative to prison, to close - Inmate Lookup

The impending closure of the Stafford Community Corrections Alternative Program (CCAP) marks a significant change in Virginia’s correctional landscape.

In a news release, the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) announced that the Stafford CCAP will close its doors on July 1 along with three other prisons—Sussex II State Prison, Augusta Correctional Center, and Haynesville Correctional Unit #17.

VADOC cites several reasons for this decision, with a primary focus on enhancing safety for employees, inmates, and probationers. Persistent staffing challenges and considerable ongoing maintenance costs further contributed to the determination to close these facilities, according to a statement from VADOC.

Employees from Sussex and Haynesville have been temporarily reassigned to the Haynesville Correctional Center, which is in Northern Neck’s Richmond County, their main facilities. The future remains uncertain for Stafford’s inmates and staff. VADOC is actively working with affected personnel to explore potential opportunities within the agency.

The Rappahannock Regional Jail is not associated with the Stafford Community Corrections Alternative Program, also referred to as “C-cap.” According to the CCAP website, circuit courts, probation officers, and parole boards may send parolees and probationers to the program.

The program focuses on structured treatment for substance abuse disorders, educational initiatives, and vocational training. Stafford’s facility is one of six CCAPs statewide and the sole one earmarked for closure.

A social media post from May highlighted the Stafford facility’s accomplishment of reaccreditation from the American Correctional Association, achieving perfect 100% compliance on all standards. This recognition underscores the commitment to maintaining high standards of operation within the CCAP.

In an August 2022 YouTube video featuring Paul Rice, the superintendent of Stafford CCAP, the program’s mission as an alternative to sending probationers to prison is emphasized. CCAPs provide a range of programs, covering areas such as parenting, aggression management, budgeting, and career readiness. Vocational training includes skills like forklift operations, welding, and masonry.

In the video, Rice stated that the Stafford CCAP collaborates with neighborhood companies, such as Fredericksburg’s Norfleet Mulch, which bags mulch for nearby garden retailers.

In the YouTube video, Norfleet’s president, Haynes Davis, acknowledged the positive impact of the program on his company. He highlighted the politeness and respectfulness of the Community Corrections Alternative Program workers, expressing regret over the program’s impending end in July.

The Brunswick facility was shown in the YouTube video, complete with rows of bunk beds and guys assembling for morning pep talks in a gymnasium.

John Horn, Brunswick’s assistant superintendent and chief of security, stated that the program “has a small window of time to be able to make as large of an impact on these folks” as possible. Brunswick is located south of Richmond, close to the border with North Carolina.

Horn stated that their mission is to save lives, emphasizing the potential impact they have each day they arrive at work, making a difference in someone’s life upon their departure, regardless of whether they face the risk of overdose.

According to the website, the program’s duration is personalized, usually ranging from 22 to 48 weeks.

Friday’s closure announcement also included a noteworthy development—the state’s decision to resume control of the Lawrenceville Correctional Center, Virginia’s only privately operated prison with a 1,500-bed capacity. The state correctional department is poised to take over operations in August when the current contract concludes, as outlined in the official news release.