RICHMOND — Virginia Department of Corrections inmates who get their COVID-19 vaccine will receive free email stamps and telephone credits as well as a care package filled with commissary items, including snacks.

“We want all staff and inmates who want the COVID-19 vaccine to get their inoculations as soon as possible,” said Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) Director Harold Clarke. “This effort is important to all in the VADOC community – our staff, inmates, and the community outside the walls, where our staff and inmates’ families live. We hope this campaign leads to better health in VADOC facilities and in the Commonwealth itself.”

The Department began Phase 1a vaccinations, covering medical staff, about two weeks ago. Last week, VADOC began Phase 1b vaccinations, which involves a system-wide effort to vaccinate as many staff and inmates as possible. VADOC medical staff are administering the Moderna vaccine received from the Virginia Department of Health.

As of Friday, January 15, 1,177 staff and 648 inmates had received vaccinations. Vaccination numbers for staff and inmates will be updated on the VADOC website every Friday.

For those inmates choosing to take the COVID-19 vaccine, which includes two doses approximately 28 days apart, VADOC will begin distributing incentive packs in early March.

The number of inmates and CCAP probationers in VADOC facilities has decreased to about 25,000 during the pandemic. The VADOC operates state correctional facilities and state probation/parole but doesn’t operate or oversee local correctional facilities (jails). Jails in Virginia are run locally and overseen by the Board of Local & Regional Jails.