RICHMOND, Va. —
The Virginia Department of Corrections has adopted new inmate visiting rules aimed at improving security, consistency and visitor flows.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the changes took effect Dec. 1 for people planning to visit inmates after Jan. 1.
Department spokeswoman Lisa Kinney says anyone approved to visit in 2013 will not have to reapply until 2016.
Officials say there are nearly 73,000 approved visitors for Virginia’s 30,000 prison inmates in more than three dozen institutions across the state.
Applications will now be processed at department headquarters in Richmond rather than at each individual facility, and can be made online or in writing.
Changes also include limiting visits to only one inmate unless the inmates are immediate family members.