RICHMOND, Va. -- Over the next three years, the Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) will spend nearly $14 million to replace all cell doors at Sussex I and Sussex II state prisons.
Construction is expected to begin in April or May at the prisons in Waverly.
"Existing doors are not closing properly due to inmates jamming them," a DOC spokesperson said. "The existing cell doors are being secured with keyed locks."
Sussex I and Sussex II house some of Virginia's highest security level inmates and Virginia's Death row.
"Offenders at Sussex I and Sussex II [are] jamming cell doors, which results in the offenders being able to get out of their cells without staff approval," the spokesperson added. "This is an unsafe situation for staff and other offenders."
Additional staff is assigned to each pod while the keyed locks are in place in case of an emergency.
Last week, an inmate at Sussex II State Prison died after he was attacked in his cell.
Ebony K. Auddi, 49, had been hospitalized since January 30 assault.