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Reviewed on: December 23,2017

My best friend is in Bland Correctional in VA. i was wondering if you can tell me how visitation is and mail and pictures and all that.. im clueless about what is allowed and what isnt, etc.. please inform me on the intel please.

Asked: December 19,2017
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The Bland Correctional Center is a male reception and classification facility. Its role is to intake offenders from the local jails and process them into the Department. It houses inmates classified to multiple levels of security. This is a state prison in the Virginia Department of Corrections, their statement on mail and visitation are as follows:

The Department of Corrections encourages inmate correspondence that is directed to socially useful goals. Inmates shall be allowed to correspond with families, friends, attorneys, courts and other public officials and organizations so long as such correspondence is in compliance with the Department of Corrections procedures and does not pose a threat to the security of the facility, violate any state or federal law, or violate any U.S. Postal Service regulation.

In accordance with United States Postal Regulations, all incoming inmate general correspondence may be opened, searched and may be read by authorized staff.

Additional mailroom security measures are aimed at detecting and eliminating contraband in DOC facilities. Therefore, in institutions classified as Security Level 2 and above, all incoming general offender correspondence items will be photocopied, and only the photocopies will be delivered to the offender.

The original envelope and all enclosed contents will be shredded in the institutional mailroom once they are photocopied. In addition, for each mailing, a maximum of three 8 1/2 X 11 inch photocopy pages, front and back, will be delivered to the offender.

Inmates may not receive cash, personal checks, postage stamps or prepaid postage envelopes/postcards through incoming mail. InmateAid's Letter and Photo service is compliant with the rules and is an acceptable medium for receipt of mail.


All new applicants and any visitor renewing their application must submit a visitation application online. Paper applications for visitation will not be accepted. 

Visitors will only be approved to visit multiple offenders if the offenders are immediate family members. Visitors are limited to visiting only one offender that is not an immediate family member. Members who are not immediate family include, but are not limited to:

  • Fiancees/fiances
  • Girlfriends
  • Boyfriends
  • Neighbors
  • Cousins
  • Friends

All visitor applications (new or previously approved) expire 36 months (three years) after the date of approval. A new, updated visitor application must be submitted online at least 30 days before expiration to continue uninterrupted visitation. The Virginia Department of Corrections may conduct an annual record check on each visitor. Prior visitation approval does not guarantee approval continuation. Applicants should allow 30 days for online applications to be processed. Out-of-state applicants should allow up to 90 days for processing. To avoid delays in processing, all information requested on the application must be accurate and complete. A response will be sent to the email address provided by the applicant. Approved visitors must still bring valid picture identification that matches the information provided on the application.

Video Visitation

First, an offender must be eligible for video visitation by meeting the following corresponding standard based upon their assignment security level.

  • Security Levels 1, 2, or 3: no restrictions
  • Security Levels 4 and 5: offender must be 6 months infraction free
  • Red Onion
    • Progressive housing: offender must 6 months infraction free
    • Segregation: offender must be 12 months infraction free

If the offender is eligible, the following steps must then be followed:

  1. The offender has to initiate the visitation process established by the prison. The offender fills out an application packet and mails it to his family or friend.
  2. The family or friend has to mail the application with the fee to the appropriate Visitor Center on the list below.
  3. The Visitor Center sends the name of the visitor back to the facility to insure accurate information and to schedule the video visitation's date and time.
  4. The prison confirms the information.
  5. The Visitor Center contacts the family or friend and confirms date and time of the visit.
Accepted Answer Date Created: December 20,2017