Depending on the type of sentence and the amount of active time imposed, either local or state authorities will determine an inmate’s release date.
Good Conduct Allowance Sentences
Parole eligible Good Conduct Allowance (GCA) sentences pertain to:
- Felony offenses committed before January 1, 1995
- Misdemeanor offenses committed before July 1, 2008
The VADOC will calculate an inmate's discretionary parole eligibility, mandatory parole release, and good time release dates when receiving an active sentence or combination of parole eligible GCA sentences totaling more than 12 months.
Misdemeanor offenses committed on or after July 1, 2008 are not eligible for parole consideration and are not calculated by the VADOC unless they are in combination with other state responsible sentences.
GCA sentences earn good time at a rate of 0 days to 30 days per 30 days served and is determined by the class level at which the inmate is earning. More details about the classification system for good conduct allowance can be found in Code of Virginia §53.1-198; §53.1-202.
Earned Sentence Credit Sentences
Earned Sentence Credit (ESC) sentences pertain to felony offenses committed on or after January 1, 1995. Generally, they are not eligible for discretionary or mandatory parole. However, legislative changes enacted in 2020 allow for parole eligibility for specific ESC sentences as outlined in Code of Virginia §53.1-165.1, subsections B and E.
The VADOC will calculate the inmate’s release date if they have an active ESC sentence of more than 12 months. The amount of earned sentence credits applied to ESC sentences is determined by the offense, or underlying offense for probation violations, as outlined in Code of Virginia §53.1-202.3.
Earned Sentence Credit–1
Offenses outlined in Code of Virginia §53.1-202.3, subsection A:1-17, earn at a rate of 0 to 4.5 days per 30 days served and are designated as Earned Sentence Credit-1 (ESC-1) sentences. The rate is determined by the class level at which the inmate is earning.
Per the budget amendment approved by the Virginia General Assembly on June 17, 2022, any sentence or portion of a sentence imposed with an offense outlined in Code of Virginia §53.1-202.3, subsection A:1-17, will limit all earned sentence credit sentences, being served or to be served, to a maximum of 4.5 days per 30 days served.
Earned Sentence Credit–2
Any sentence with an offense eligible to earn as outlined in Code of Virginia §53.1-202.3, subsection B, will earn at a rate of 0 to 15 days per 30 days served and are designated as Earned Sentence Credit-2 (ESC-2) sentences. The rate is determined by the class level at which the inmate is earning.
More details about the classification system for earned sentence credits can be found in Code of Virginia §53.1-202.2; §53.1-202.4.
Calculating Release Dates
The amount of time required to satisfy a sentence, whether GCA or ESC, depends on many variables. Each record is unique and release dates must be calculated based on individual factors.
Those factors include, but are not limited to the:
- Amount of time spent in jail prior to being received by the VADOC
- Type of sentence
- Total sentence imposed
- Class level(s) at which an inmate is earning
- Disciplinary offenses received throughout incarceration
- Other events that may impact the time calculation
Inmates may forward time computation inquiries to:
Virginia Department of Corrections
ATTN: Correspondence Unit/Court & Legal Section
6900 Atmore Drive
Richmond, VA 23261