The Rappahannock Regional Jail serves the adult corrections needs of the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George, and the City of Fredericksburg. As the oldest, largest, and most successful regional government agency in the Fredericksburg area, the Rappahannock Regional Jail is the crown jewel of regional cooperative efforts. Founded in 1968, it has for years provided for the public safety in a humane and cost effective manner.
In June of 2000, the jail moved into a new, 264,000 square foot, state-of-the-art corrections facility that was designed to meet the current and future corrections needs of this rapidly expanding area. Construction of this facility began in May of 1998 and the building was occupied, on schedule. The budget for construction and construction related costs was $53.9 million, but the actual costs came in at $51.4 million, saving local taxpayers $2.5 million. Operating and capital costs for the regional juvenile detention center have also been lowered, to the benefit of local taxpayers, through the efforts of the Rappahannock Regional Jail, which provides food, maintenance, grounds keeping, laundry and transportation services to that facility.
Do to progressive law enforcement, the courts issuing meaningful sentencing for offenders and the forecasting of area population growths as well as current overcrowding, a decision was made in May 2006 to expand the facility by another 115,000 sq. ft. allowing for a maximum inmate population of 2000. The facility opened the new expansion in November 2008 after 18 months of construction now totaling 378,800 sq. ft. The approved construction cost represented $52 million however the actual cost was $48 million saving local taxpayers $4.0 million as the facility opened on time and ahead of schedule.
The jail employs 372 persons, has an average daily inmate count in excess of 1100 and an annual operating budget of $32 million. Its kitchen serves over 5500 meals daily. The jail further serves the local communities and public safety through its alternative to incarceration programs of community based probation, pre-trial supervision, Drug Court, home electronic incarceration, and work release. Approximately 1600 persons residing in the local community are under the supervision of these programs.
Other regional cooperative efforts occur under the auspices of the jail, such as the Regional Law Enforcement LAN, which enhances information sharing between local law enforcement agencies, and the Community Criminal Justice Board (CCJB). The CCJB seeks to enhance regional cooperation throughout the entire local criminal justice structure on a variety of law enforcement, judicial, corrections, and rehabilitative issues. Its membership includes local judges, local sheriffs, and members of the legal community, representatives of public education and the community services board. The Rappahannock Regional Jail has set the standard by which regional cooperation can be judged.