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VA DOC - Wallens Ridge State Prison

State Prison

Last Updated: August 23, 2021
Address
272 Dogwood Dr, Big Stone, VA 24219
Beds
1200
County
Wise
Phone
276-523-3310
Mailing Address
PO Box 759, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219

Wallens Ridge State Prison is for State Prison offenders sentenced up to twelve months.

All prisons and jails have Security or Custody levels depending on the inmate’s classification, sentence, and criminal history. Please review the rules and regulations for State - maximum facility.

The phone carrier is Global Tel Link (GTL) - ConnectNetwork, to see their rates and best-calling plans for your inmate to call you.

If you are unsure of your inmate's location, you can search and locate your inmate by typing in their last name, first name or first initial, and/or the offender ID number to get their accurate information immediately Registered Offenders

Satellite View of VA DOC - Wallens Ridge State Prison

VA DOC - Wallens Ridge State Prison basic information to help guide you through what you can do for your inmate while they are incarcerated. The facility's direct contact number: 276-523-3310

The inmates housed at Wallens Ridge State Prison located at 272 Dogwood Dr in Big Stone, VA are placed according to their custody level (determined by a number of factors including the past criminal history and the length of their sentence). There are ample educational and vocational training programs for all inmates, especially ones that show a willingness to learn new things that will prepare them for a better life when they are released. The mission is to promote and prepare the offender to leave in better shape than when they arrived, giving them the best chance to never come back and thus lower the state's recidivism rate.

Wallens Ridge State Prison is a SuperMax, level 5 custody penitentiary, the toughest compound in the Virginia Department of Corrections System situated in the side of a natural ridge in Big Stone Gap, VA. It houses about 1,200 male inmates, most with long sentences that include life and multiple life terms.

Even the occasional friendly visit is almost always off limits. Inmates must be in their cells 23 hours per day. And that one hour a day of freedom, get used to wearing handcuffs and leg shackles while a guard wielding a 50,000-volt stun gun walks you to the shower – with bars of its own – or the small concrete courtyard for exercise.

And even if you get out of solitary and your day is broken up by trips to the dining hall or a few hours in the day room, there will be a shotgun, loaded with hard rubber pellets, trained on your every move. Virginia prison officials say such severe restrictions are needed to control "the worst of the worst," inmates so dangerous that it's better to forget about rehabilitation and simply warehouse them.

In the past decade, this prison has become a focal point for human rights watch groups that claim the practice of housing inmates at Wallens Ridge from far away states creates a danger to the inmate and restricts them from seeing family and community members. This prison was the focus of a 2006 documentary called "Up the Ridge" which highlights many of the issues. In 2014 a corrections officer from Wallens Ridge State Prison was arrested for selling drugs to an undercover officer.

The Virginia state prison system offers a range of programs and services to more than 30,000 state prisoners that support the effective operation of facilities by constructively occupying otherwise idle inmate time and reducing unrest. Programs also provide those inmates who choose to change criminal behaviors with meaningful opportunities for positive growth.

Prison programs are aligned within the Department so that inmates with long sentences or incident reports (those housed in maximum or close custody prisons) receive programs that promote positive prison adjustment. Those inmates nearing release (those housed in medium or minimum custody facilities) receive programs aimed at reducing recidivism.

Treatment Planning

Upon reception into the prison system, inmates receive a battery of tests and/or interviews to identify their security and treatment programming needs. Based on these needs, the inmate's counselor develops a written Treatment Plan outlining programs that are needed by the inmate. An inmate's progress towards meeting his/her Treatment Plan goals is evaluated and documented once per year, with the plan updated as needed.

Core Programs

Inmate Work Activities
Substance Abuse Treatment
Mental Health Services (at major institutions)
Life Skills Programming

Substance Abuse Programming

Approximately 80% of the Department's inmates have a history of substance abuse that contributed to their criminality. The Department offers intensive substance abuse treatment to 1,200 inmates in Therapeutic Community (TC) programs located at six prisons throughout the State. TC programs are highly structured rigorous programs that confront inmates' substance abuse and criminal behavior.

Indian Creek Correctional Center operates the largest secure TC program in the nation and has recently been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice as a learning laboratory for other states to visit. A smaller TC program operated at Botetourt Correctional Center has also received recognition as a national model program.

Research has shown that TC programs reduce recidivism rates to one-half the rate of non-participants, to as low as six percent when TC programming is paired with community follow-up services.

In addition to the six intensive TC programs, every prison facility offers an education program that provides basic information on the health, social, and legal consequences of substance abuse.

Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Narcotics Anonymous programs are also available primarily through community volunteer participation at most facilities. Many prisons also run weekly counseling or substance abuse recovery groups.

Life Skills

A Framework for Breaking Barriers is a program that uses workbooks and videotapes to encourage inmates to set positive goals and take advantage of programming while incarcerated. During the year prior to an inmate's release from prison, a Life Skills program is made available. Life Skills is a 19 session curriculum developed by Department staff which addresses essential information inmates need to live in the community. Topics such as finding a job, keeping a job, locating a residence, budgeting, and family responsibilities are covered.

Other Programs

In addition to core programs, each prison facility offers a range of services to meet the special needs of inmates. Examples of such programs include behavior management programs, women offender programs, anger management programs, geriatric programs, victims groups, or property offenders groups.

Inmate Locator

VA DOC - Wallens Ridge State Prison is a facility in the Virginia Department of Corrections. The DOC publishes the names of their current inmates and identifies which of their locations the inmate is being held. Your search should start with the first DOC locator to see if your loved one is there. Begin with the first three letters of the offender's first and last name, it does not have to be spelled exactly.

The second box is the InmateAid Inmate Search. This database of inmates is user-generated content for the purpose of accessing and utilizing any or all of the InmateAid services. If you need our assistance creating your own inmate profile to keep in touch, email us at aid@inmateaid.com and we will assist you in locating your inmate.

As a last resort, you might have to pay for that information if we do not have it. The Arrest Record Search will cost you a small amount, but their data is the freshest available and for that reason, they charge to access it.

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Covid Visitation Information

Visitation and volunteer activities at all VADOC facilities are cancelled until further notice. For updated, recorded information, please call 804-887-8484. Latest Update: Virginia Correctional

Visitation and Telephone Communication

  • While visitation at correctional facilities is cancelled for now, off-site video visitation, facilitated through Assisting Families of Inmates (AFOI), remains available. JPay and VADOC have worked together to credit each offender’s JPay account with two free JPay stamps per week during this time.
  • To assist in preventing the reach of COVID-19 into state correctional facilities, all attorney/authorized attorney representative meetings with offenders will be conducted over the phone until further notice in an attempt to limit the number of persons coming in and out of facilities each day during this pandemic.

Visitation Information

Visiting hours for VA DOC - Wallens Ridge State Prison. For Directions call 276-523-3310

Sunday 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Monday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tuesday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thursday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Federal Holidays 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

No cellphones, you will be searched before visiting. NO personal belongings. Persons under probation, parole, or other community corrections supervision must obtain the permission of both their individual supervising officer and the superintendent prior to a visit. Such visitation is not normally approved.

If the visitor is under the age of 18 and is a family member of the inmate, they must be accompanied by an adult family member or guardian to include a member of the inmate's extended family. If the visitor is under the age of 18 and is not a family member of the inmate, the minor visitor must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

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Ask The Inmate

Ask a former inmate questions at no charge. The inmate answering has spent considerable time in the federal prison system, state and county jails, and in a prison that was run by the private prison entity CCA. Ask your question or browse previous questions in response to comments or further questions of members of the InmateAid community.

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