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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A Virginia Beach Correctional Center Inmate Workforce member walked off a supervised job Monday evening at the Law Enforcement Training Academy and was quickly apprehended by the Virginia Beach Police Department.

The incident occurred at the Law Enforcement Training Academy, located at 411 Integrity Way. The VBPD located the inmate a short distance away at an Oceanfront convenience store, less than an hour after he walked away from the work site, where he served as a member of the cleaning crew. The inmate was not considered a threat to the public.

The inmate, whose name is being withheld pending a thorough investigation into the incident, has been charged with felony escape, which carries a maximum five-year sentence. He was admitted into the Virginia Beach Correctional Center on Sept. 15, 2023, on nonviolent charges, including possession of a controlled substance. He had served on the VBSO’s Inmate Workforce since January.

The VBSO Inmate Workforce takes low-risk offenders into the community to provide landscaping, maintenance, janitorial and other services for the City of Virginia Beach at a cost savings to Virginia Beach taxpayers. It is an all-volunteer program that gives qualifying inmates the opportunity to use their jail time in a productive manner, learn job skills, receive additional food and visitation privileges, and potentially earn time off their sentences. The VBSO carefully screens all participants to ensure the safety of the community, and they are supervised by deputy sheriffs at all times.

“This individual took advantage of a highly regarded and successful jail program that gives inmates opportunities to find employment in the community upon their release,” said Virginia Beach Sheriff Rocky Holcomb. “We are not going to let one bad actor ruin this program for the hundreds who have come before him, and the hundreds who will come after. We are looking into our policies and procedures to ascertain if changes need to be made to prevent another occurrence.”

The incident remains under investigation by the VBSO and VBPD.

“I am grateful to our partners at the Virginia Beach Police Department for quickly responding and apprehending this individual, who is now back in jail where he belongs,” said Holcomb. “I want to assure the community that your safety remains our priority.”

Media contact: Public Information Officer Toni Guagenti, or (757) 385-8446.