May 4, 2021

Bureau of Corrections Conducts Off-island Correctional Facility Visits

ST. THOMAS, USVI – The Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections (BOC) recently conducted a routine site visit to check on the quality of housing and treatment of the forty-eight (48) Virgin Islands inmates housed in four prisons in Virginia. The prisons visited were Keen Mountain Correctional Center, Marion Correctional Treatment Center, Red Onion State Prison, and Wallens Ridge State Prison. Director Wynnie Testamark continues to work collaboratively with mainland correctional facilities to ensure proper, consistent care and rehabilitation of our off- island inmates. “We do not just send them away and forget about them; they are human beings and must be treated with the utmost respect,” Director Testamark said.

Members of the BOC’s medical, mental health, classifications, and security staff accompanied Director Testamark on the trip. During the visit, the BOC team met with key prison officials, reviewed inmate files to determine that they were up to date, and held one-on-one discussions with the inmates. BOC’s objective in conducting face-to-face rather than virtual site visits was to verify, validate, and see firsthand that all inmates being housed off-island are treated with dignity and that their human and inmate rights are met.

“BOC is committed to protecting the safety and well-being of everyone in our community, including our inmates and detainees who are currently housed locally or on the mainland,” Testamark said. “Rest assured that our employees, inmates, and facilities remain our number one priority.”

At BOC’s partner facilities on the mainland, Virgin Islands inmates are offered vocational, rehabilitation, and reentry opportunities that include employment skills, life skills, religious pursuits, and family interaction through videoconference visits. Many of these opportunities were affected partly due to the national coronavirus pandemic.

The Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections will be visiting Citrus County Detention Facility in Florida within the next couple of months.

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