The Virginia Department of Corrections changed their policy on visits for death row inmates from friends and family to include immediate family only. Recently they expanded their definition of immediate family to allow visitors such as aunts and uncles, but the restrictions on friends not being allowed to visit remain.
The DOC tries to explain this restriction as a safety measurement. The DOC spokes person Larry Traylor, according to the Washington Post, stated, “It comes down to illegal contraband such as cell phones, weapons, drugs, etc. entering the secure environment. This policy completely eliminates that possibility.”
While safety is of course of utmost importance, visits with death row inmates are non-contact visits, done through a glass partition, so the possibility of receiving illegal contraband during a visit is non-existent. With no logical reason for the restriction this policy appears to be a case of saying "No" simply for the sake of saying no.
As long as the requesting visitor can pass the background checks and provide the appropriate documentation there is no reason they should be denied.
Tell the DOC to expand visitation rights for death row inmates in Virginia to include friends.