State correctional and juvenile correctional facilities; use of canines, prohibited acts. (HB159)

Introduced By

Del. Holly Seibold (D-Vienna) with support from co-patrons Del. Josh Cole (D-Fredericksburg), Del. Marty Martinez (D-Leesburg), Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke), and Sen. Saddam Azlan Salim (D-Fairfax)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Use of canines in correctional and juvenile correctional facilities; prohibited acts. Makes it unlawful for any correctional officer or other employee of a state correctional facility who is permitted to handle canines to use a patrol or security canine in any state correctional facility unless such correctional officer or other employee (i) reasonably believes that the use of a patrol or security canine is immediately necessary to protect any prisoner or any officer or employee from the threat of serious bodily injury or death or (ii) has the prior approval of the warden or a supervisor to use a patrol or security canine to intervene in an altercation, fight, or other incident between three or more prisoners. The bill also makes it unlawful for any juvenile correctional officer or other employee of a juvenile correctional facility to use a patrol or security canine in any juvenile correctional facility. The bill specifies that such provisions shall not apply to the training or use of detector canines or detector canine handlers. Read the Bill »


Based on the fiscal impact statement, it is unclear what the exact cost of the legislation will be. The Department of Corrections (DOC) is currently reviewing the impact of the bill on agency operations, but it is possible that any fiscal impact could be addressed using current resources. The Department of Juvenile Justice states that the bill will have no fiscal impact on agency operations as they do not use security canines. The impact on local and regional jails is unknown at this time. The Office of the Attorney General believes that the bill may expose the Commonwealth to additional litigation, but the exact fiscal impact cannot be quantified at this time.

Summary generated automatically by OpenAI.


Bill Has Passed


01/02/2024Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/24 24100849D
01/02/2024Referred to Committee on Public Safety
01/13/2024Assigned PS sub: Public Safety
01/18/2024Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (6-Y 0-N)
01/24/2024Impact statement from DPB (HB159)
01/26/2024House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
01/26/2024Committee substitute printed 24105546D-H1
01/26/2024Assigned App. sub: Transportation & Public Safety
01/26/2024Reported from Public Safety with substitute (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/26/2024Referred to Committee on Appropriations
01/31/2024Impact statement from DPB (HB159H1)
01/31/2024Subcommittee recommends reporting (8-Y 0-N)
02/02/2024Reported from Appropriations (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2024Read first time
02/07/2024Read second time
02/07/2024Committee substitute agreed to 24105546D-H1
02/07/2024Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB159H1
02/08/2024Read third time and passed House (82-Y 15-N)
02/08/2024VOTE: Passage (82-Y 15-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2024Constitutional reading dispensed
02/09/2024Referred to Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services
02/16/2024Reported from Rehabilitation and Social Services (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2024Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2024Read third time
02/20/2024Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2024Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB159ER)
02/26/2024Impact statement from DPB (HB159ER)
02/26/2024Signed by Speaker
02/28/2024Signed by President
03/11/2024Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on March 11, 2024
03/11/2024G Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., April 8, 2024
03/20/2024G Approved by Governor-Chapter 99 (effective 7/1/24)
03/20/2024G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0099)


Michael Oakes writes:

I think a patrol canine is a great tool to have in a prison system in Virginia . And the people that made this bill HB159 has never been inside of a prison . Or never had to deal with any inmates that are out of control. And a patrol canine is the best tool to deal with an out of control inmates that will not listen to anyone .

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