What Happens After You are Released From Prison in Virginia?

Man Being Released From a PrisonAfter an arrest, many people are understandably concerned about potential prison sentences and the immediate impact of a conviction. Prison time and fines are important concerns, but they aren’t the only potential consequences of a criminal conviction. A criminal conviction may continue to impact your life long after your time in prison ends, and our Fairfax criminal defense lawyers are here to help you protect your future from the first moment that you think you might face criminal charges.

Supervision After Prison

Generally, the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) offers two levels of supervision after a person is released from prison. After your prison term ends, the VADOC may follow you with:

  • Intense Supervision. The VADOC officer and offender will have frequent and extensive contact both in the officer’s office and in the community.
     
  • Low-Level Supervision. Low-level supervision may consist of regular meetings with a VADOC officer, GPS location supervision, and biometric monitoring. Typically, offenders participate in monthly check-ins, answer interview questions, maintain a residence at an approved location, and provide proof of existence by biometric recognition.

Additionally, the VADOC maintains specific programs that some people may qualify for, including:

Substance Abuse Services

VADOC uses the Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS) assessment tool to determine whether substance abuse services are appropriate. After a felony offense, substance abuse services may include screening, assessment, testing, and treatment. These services may be provided on an outpatient or residential basis, and they may continue for different amounts of time for different participants, based on their individual needs.

Sex Offender Supervision

Probation and parole officers, treatment providers, polygraph examiners, and others use a team approach to provide collaborative supervision for sex offenders. VADOC and others provide treatment programs, including but not limited to the Sex Offender Awareness Program (SOAP) and Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTX). The VADOC determines each individual’s participation in sex offender supervision.

GPS Monitoring

24-hour GPS monitoring may be required for people under supervision for certain sexual offenses, other specific crimes, or as required by a court order or the Virginia Parole Board. Additionally, GPS is used with other supervision services or for people who are sentenced to home incarceration rather than prison.

Voice Verification Biometrics Monitoring

Voice verification biometric monitoring may continue until supervision ends, as determined by the court or parole board. This type of monitoring allows a specialist to confirm a person’s identity by their voice over the phone.

Gang Supervision

Gang members are monitored by gang specialist probation officers while they are on probation unless it has been determined that another type of probation officer would be more appropriate. Services, treatment, and length of supervision are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Community Residential Programs

People who lack a stable residence, need transition back into the community after incarceration, are mentally and physically able to participate in the program, have no pattern of violence, and meet facility criteria may qualify for a community residential program for approximately 90 days after prison. Community residential programs may provide food and shelter and provide help with basic life skills, substance abuse education, counseling, and employment coaching.

Other Long-Term Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

As you prepare to mount your defense, we encourage you to consider all of the ways that a criminal conviction may impact your future. In addition to VADOC supervision after you leave prison, a criminal conviction may also leave you with a permanent criminal record and impact your:

  • Immigration status
     
  • Employment
     
  • Ability to get a loan
     
  • Rental and housing options
     
  • Security clearance
     
  • International travels
     
  • Custody of your children
     
  • Gun rights

You may feel overwhelmed considering all of the ways that a criminal conviction could impact your future, and you have immediate worries about your freedom, finances, and family.

Our Fairfax criminal defense attorneys may begin helping you as soon as you contact our office. We will thoroughly review the charges against you, analyze the evidence, consider all of the short- and long-term consequences of your legal options, and advise you so that you know what to expect moving forward. Please contact our office today to schedule a free consultation about your criminal defense case.