In 1991, the Virginia General Assembly adopted federal legislation and passed House Joint Resolution 367 sponsored by Delegate Clifton A. Woodrum. This law requires local jails to provide special educational services to inmates to the age of 22. The Roanoke City Sheriff's Office has worked closely with local school administrators to implement plans to comply with federal special education requirements. Presently, the Roanoke City Jail is working cooperatively with the Roanoke City Public Schools to provide services to eligible inmates. A full-time special education teacher provides instruction to the inmates. The usual procedure in providing educational services begins with an inmate's committal.
A classification officer gathers information concerning the inmate's past education history. If the inmate is age 22 or less, does not have a high school diploma or a GED certificate and is in need of services, he/she will be interviewed further to determine requirements. The teacher then obtains any records pertaining to the process of determining eligibility. Information is shared with other facilities to which the inmate may be transferred to avoid any duplication of services.