The Road to Hope is an initiative of the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Rocky Holcomb that gives offenders a path to rehabilitation, preparing them to transition from inmates to productive members of society.

Road to Hope Programs:

Reentry Program The Reentry Program provides services to inmates who have six months or less left in their sentence time, no extensive history of institutional violations and no drug distribution charges. Education is provided by certified Reentry counselors and completion time for the curriculum is approximately three months (based on the learning ability and participation of the inmate). Participation is voluntary. Inmates submit a request form and are contacted by a program coordinator if they are eligible. The goals are to (1) improve offenders’ quality of life and address co-occurring problems through the provision of educational services; (2) reduce recidivism; (3) foster commitment to a violence-free and crime-free lifestyle; and (4) promote a prosocial community. The Reentry Program also offers job fairs for soon-to-be-released inmates.

Offender Support Unit (OSU) – This program is designed to provide an alternative to incarceration. Candidates for the OSU program are selected by submitting an Inmate Request Form, but they may also be court-ordered into the program. Inmate Request Forms and court orders are put through an application check phase to see if the candidate is eligible to participate. Criteria is based on the following:

  • Nature of offense(s) (no violent or criminal sex offenses).
  • 12 months or less on active sentence.
  • Fully sentenced with no pending court cases.
  • No mandatory jail time.
  • No detainers from other jurisdictions.
  • Criminal history check.
  • Medical clearance and full physical.
  • Reliable transportation to report to the Virginia Beach Correctional Center (VBCC) daily.
  • Mandatory random drug and alcohol testing.

Deputies who work in the VBSO’s Alternative Sentencing Program select OSU offenders’ job assignments, which can include working in VBCC Intake, the Canteen or the Power Shift cleaning crew, City of Virginia Beach Waste Management, and Virginia Beach Animal Control. The cost to participate in the OSU is $5 per day and a one-time $50 processing fee.

Electronic Home Incarceration Program (EHIP) – This program is designed to provide an alternative to incarceration. Candidates may be selected for this program by submitting an Inmate Request Form or may be court-ordered into the program. Inmate Request Forms and court orders are put through an application check phase to see if the candidate is eligible to participate. Criteria is based on the following:

  • Nature of offense(s) (no violent or criminal sex offenses).
  • 12 months or less on active sentence.
  • Fully sentenced with no pending court cases.
  • No mandatory jail time.
  • No detainers from other jurisdictions.
  • Criminal history check.
  • Obtain and maintain gainful employment or school enrollment prior to starting the program.
  • Reliable transportation to meet curfew times.
  • Agree to placement of equipment in the inmate’s residence.
  • Mandatory drug and alcohol testing.

The cost to participate in this program is $10 per day for equipment and monitoring fees and a one-time $50 processing fee. Inmates are allowed to be employed or attend school; however employment must be in Virginia Beach unless ordered by the court. If not employed, EHIP inmates are placed under house arrest and can only depart their residence with the permission of the Alternative Sentencing deputies for medical appointments, etc. Inmates are required to report to the VBCC on Sundays for urinalysis. In addition, Alternative Sentencing deputies are responsible for visiting these inmates at their residence or place of employment. Inmates are tracked with GPS using an ankle-worn monitoring device.

Weekender Program – This is a court-ordered program that allows offenders to serve their time on weekends (or other nonconsecutive days) in order to maintain employment and/or meet family caretaking obligations. Weekenders report to the VBCC on Friday evening and leave Sunday afternoon rather than serving their time all at once (straight time). In order to qualify for the program, inmates must first pay all outstanding balances from any previous jail stays at the VBCC. Weekenders must also pay a $50 processing fee and $7 per day to participate in the program. If an inmate violates program rules and regulations, they may be detained and required to serve their remaining jail sentence on straight time.

Veterans Block – Housing unit (or block) for inmates with military service backgrounds. Inmates volunteer to be housed in the Veterans Block using an Inmate Request Form. Standard Classification and housing rules apply. The VBSO is currently working with the local Veterans Affairs office to solicit help providing veterans with post-incarceration assistance.

The Sounds of Beating Da Odds (BDO) Gives VBCC inmates the opportunity to try out for a chorus of singers, and eventually musicians, who will perform at concerts in the fall and during the holidays. This program is a joint effort with the VBSO, Brandon “Shaggy” Stokes from Z104, rap producer Lex Luger, Audacy (the owner of Z104 and other radio stations), iHeartRadio, the Virginia Beach Interdenominational Ministers Conference with Rev. Gary McCollum, Wave Church and other community organizations. Music can transform people and their behavior. Participating in a program like this can help inmates build social skills and improve their communication. In addition, by participating in music therapy sessions, inmates can learn how to work together, communicate effectively and build meaningful relationships. Music allows inmates to speak directly about trauma, emotion and joy in a way that compliments rehabilitative efforts and encourages emotional and social development. Their growth depends on their ability to interact with an audience. This program also helps inmates confront their past and their future, while helping them cope with the present in a positive manner. BDO is not just about entertainment; it's about offering a chance for personal growth and a path toward a brighter future, both for the inmates and the community.

Inmate Work Programs – Inmate work programs constitute a vital component of the rehabilitation and reintegration efforts within the VBCC, offering incarcerated individuals a pathway toward personal growth, skill development, and meaningful contribution to both the facility and the broader community. Through a combination of structured work assignments, vocational training and opportunities for financial restitution, these programs serve as a foundation of inmate rehabilitation and preparation for a successful return to society. In essence, inmate work programs represent a win-win proposition for both incarcerated individuals and the community at large. These programs not only promote rehabilitation and reintegration, but also foster a sense of dignity, purpose and contribution for participants. Through their labor and dedication, inmates become agents of positive change, transforming their lives and making meaningful contributions to society, both behind bars and beyond.

  • Trusty – The role of a trusty within the correctional system is multifaceted, encompassing a range of responsibilities and benefits that extend beyond the confines of traditional incarceration. Trusted with various tasks and services essential for the smooth operation of the facility, trusties play a vital role in maintaining order, safety, cleanliness and efficiency within the jail environment while also offering inmates opportunities for personal growth, skill development and reduced sentences. Trusties assigned to the inmate or staff kitchen acquire valuable competencies, such as refining their culinary skills and mastering the operation of commercial-grade kitchen equipment. The Trusty Program represents a unique opportunity for inmates to engage in meaningful work, earn valuable incentives and cultivate essential life skills while incarcerated. Through their dedication and hard work, trusties become integral members of the VBCC community, embodying the principles of responsibility, accountability and positive contribution.
  • Workforce – At the core of the Workforce Program are the services provided by participants, which encompass essential tasks such as lawn care and maintenance, canteen services, cleaning and logistical support for events. From mowing lawns and landscaping to assisting with event setup and furniture moving, participants in the Workforce program play a vital role in ensuring the smooth operation of the VBCC while also providing valuable services to external stakeholders and the broader community. The Workforce program represents a holistic approach to inmate rehabilitation, combining meaningful work opportunities with tangible incentives and skill-development initiatives. By providing Workforce inmates with the means to earn time off their sentences, financial restitution for fines and court costs, and valuable vocational skills, the program promotes accountability and responsibility and fosters a sense of hope, purpose and empowerment as they prepare for life beyond incarceration. Through their dedication and hard work, Workforce participants become agents of positive change, transforming their lives and contributing to the betterment of society as a whole.

The selection process for participation in the inmate work programs involves a meticulous assessment of applicants’ criminal background and institutional history to ensure suitability and safety. This thorough evaluation considers various factors including past criminal offenses, institutional behavior and gang involvement. Inmates with a history of violent crimes, gang affiliation, escape attempts or problematic conduct within the VBCC are ineligible.

Applicants must have a comprehensive medical evaluation to assess their physical health and fitness for work assignments. This medical screening ensures that participants are medically safe to perform tasks both inside and outside the jail environment. By identifying any underlying health concerns or limitations, this evaluation helps mitigate the risk of injury or health complications while performing their work duties, safeguarding the wellbeing of the inmates and promoting a safe working environment.

This rigorous selection process underscores the VBSO’s commitment to safety, security and accountability within the inmate work programs. By carefully screening participants based on their criminal history, institutional behavior, and medical fitness, the program aims to mitigate risks, promote a positive work environment, and maximize the potential for successful rehabilitation and reintegration. Through this selective approach, inmates who demonstrate a genuine commitment to personal growth and positive change are given the opportunity to participate in meaningful work experiences that contribute to their overall wellbeing and readiness for successful reentry into society.

Educational Programs – The GED (General Educational Development) and Jail Education Program (JEP) initiative serves as a beacon of opportunity within the VBCC, offering inmates a pathway to personal growth and empowerment during their time of incarceration. Designed with the aim of fostering self-improvement and enhancing productivity, these programs stand as pivotal instruments of transformation for individuals seeking to better themselves.

  • GED – The GED component of the program stands as a testament to the commitment to education within the VBCC. Through the dedicated efforts of educators, inmates are provided with comprehensive support and guidance on their journey toward achieving their GED certificate. This educational endeavor equips participants with essential academic competencies and empowers them with the skills necessary to navigate the complexities of contemporary society. The attainment of GED credentials marks an academic milestone and serves as a symbol of resilience and determination in the face of adversity. The Virginia Beach Adult Learning Center serves as a pivotal hub for GED certification, embodying the collaborative spirit of community engagement and educational advocacy.
  • JEP (Special Education) – In parallel, the Special Education component of the program, known as the JEP, caters to the unique needs of younger inmates (age 22 and below) who have special educational requirements. Recognizing the diverse learning profiles and individualized support needed for this demographic, the JEP offers a tailored curriculum aimed at facilitating academic progress and personal development. Through partnerships with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, inmates enrolled in the JEP are afforded the opportunity to earn a high school diploma from the school located in their housing district. The JEP serves as a testament to the VBSO’s commitment to inclusivity and equitable access to education, ensuring that all individuals, regardless of background or circumstance, are equipped with the tools necessary to pursue their aspirations and contribute positively to society.

Chaplains Program (Life Empowerment) – The Chaplains Program, often referred to as the Life Empowerment Program, stands as a cornerstone of spiritual nourishment and personal development within the VBCC, offering inmates a sanctuary for introspection, guidance and growth. Rooted in the principles of faith and compassion, this program serves as a beacon of hope, providing individuals with the tools and resources necessary to embark on a journey of self-discovery and transformation. Participation in the Chaplain Program is contingent upon meeting certain eligibility criteria. Disqualifiers such as current housing status (maximum security) and jail behavior (institutional violations) may preclude individuals from enrolling in the program. While these criteria serve as necessary safeguards for maintaining order and safety within the jail, they also underscore the importance of accountability and personal responsibility in the journey toward rehabilitation and redemption.

Substance Abuse Program – The Substance Abuse Program exists as a comprehensive and structured initiative within the VBCC, providing a lifeline of support and resources for inmates grappling with addiction. Through a combination of targeted interventions and holistic approaches, this program aims to guide individuals toward recovery, empower them with essential life skills, and ultimately facilitate their successful reintegration into society. Structured as a 16-week curriculum, the Substance Abuse Program offers participants a comprehensive framework for recovery and rehabilitation. Through a carefully curated curriculum, inmates are guided through the stages of change, from acknowledging the need for transformation to acquiring the tools and skills necessary to maintain sobriety and make healthier life choices post-release. Participation in the Substance Abuse Program may be voluntary or court-ordered as part of sentencing. This legal mandate underscores the recognition of substance abuse as a significant contributing factor to criminal behavior and the importance of addressing it through evidence-based interventions and treatment modalities.