Sussex I State Prison

Sussex I State Prison is a level 5 maximum-security facility for male inmates that is located in Waverly, Virginia. Most inmates housed at Sussex I are serving life sentences or multiple life sentences.

This facility is operated by the Virginia Department of Corrections and can house a maximum of 1,125 inmates. Some of these inmates are on death row. 

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Sussex I State Prison

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting hours at Sussex I State Prison are on Saturdays and Sundays. The visiting schedule rotates, so call the facility to find out your inmate's specific visiting times.

Applying for Visitation

Before visiting an inmate at the Sussex I State Prison, you must be approved by the Virginia Department of Corrections. You can submit a visitation application online. Minor visitors must attach their application to an adult application. If you are not the minor's parent or legal guardian, you must include a Notarized Statement – Minor Visitor form. 

After the DOC processes your application (including a background check), you will receive an email informing you of your application's approval or explaining the reason(s) for disapproval. 

What to Bring to a Visit

You must have a valid photo ID to visit an inmate. Acceptable forms are: Driver’s License, Passport, Military ID, or an official picture ID issued by a federal or state agency. 

Before entering the visiting room, you will be searched by electronic scanning and detection devices. You may also be subject to pat-down frisk searches and contraband detection canines. 

The only items visitors are allowed to take into the visiting room are: 

  • A visitor's pass 
  • A maximum of $20.00 in coins (no paper money) per adult visitor
  • Personal vehicle key only (“keyless” keys are not authorized) 
  • DOC locker key 
  • Essential items for infant feeding

You must keep all property locked in your vehicle. Visitors are not allowed to bring in food, cash money, checks, money orders, or lottery tickets. No cell phones or electronic devices.

Dress Code

All visitors must follow the dress code. Clothing must cover you from the neck to the kneecaps. You must also wear underwear and footwear. Clothing with symbols or signs with inappropriate language or graphics is prohibited.

Clothing Must Not:

  • Be inappropriate in any way 
  • Contain symbols or signs with inappropriate language or graphics 
  • Include watches and all wearable technology 

Physical Address

Sussex I State Prison
24414 Musselwhite Drive
Waverly, VA 23891

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number


Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate name and DOC number
Sussex I State Prison
24414 Musselwhite Drive
Waverly, VA 23891

You may send letters (limited to three pages, front and back), greeting cards, postcards, and appropriate photos (no pornographic, obscene, or offensive imagery) to inmates at Sussex I State Prison.

However, the inmates receive photocopies of their mail, not the originals. Prison staff shreds all original mail contents, including personal photos after they are copied. Watch this video to see how the Virginia DOC distributes mail.

The following items will be rejected:

  • Money orders, cash, checks, or other items of monetary value (send money to an offender with JPay)
  • Postage stamps, prepaid postage envelopes and postcards
  • Nude or semi-nude images of anyone
  • Contraband or other items not in compliance with Operating Procedure 802.1

How to Call an Inmate

You can't call an inmate at Sussex I State Prison, but they do have access to phones during daytime hours. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Virginia, please click here.

How to Send Money

To send money to an inmate at Sussex I State Prison, there are a few different options:

  • Online or Mobile App: The fastest way to send money is by using a credit or debit card and making an online payment or using the JPay mobile app (Android, Apple iOS).
  • Phone: Call JPay at 1 (800) 574-5729 to make payments anytime 24/7.
  • Send all money orders with a deposit slip to:
    P.O. Box 278170
    Miramar, FL 33027

Programs For Inmates

Adult Basic Education: Students learn literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills. ABE students graduate to adult secondary studies in preparation for High School Equivalency (HSE).

Building Opportunities of Knowledge (BOOK): This is a tutor-assisted Adult Basic Education (ABE) program for inmates not enrolled due to a waiting list or inability to attend. 

Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Substance Abusers: An evidence-based substance abuse program designed specifically for prison inmates. The program focuses on skill-building activities to assist with cognitive, social, emotional, and coping skill development.

Custodial Maintenance and Sanitation: Students learn how to safely use equipment and chemicals that are used in the cleaning industry. Areas of instruction include wall cleaning, window cleaning, carpet and upholstery care, floor care, as well as starting and operating a cleaning business in Virginia.

Getting It Right: This program uses interactive journals that aim to help inmates develop attainable, intentional plans to avoid further criminal behavior. Journal session topics include: Managing My Life, Change Plan, Personal Growth, Relapse Prevention, and Responsible Thinking.

High School Equivalency: Adult secondary level instruction that ends when offenders pass the GED exam.

High Security Intensive Reentry: This program helps inmates whose security levels prevent them from transferring to an intensive re-entry site to prepare for re-entry into the community. 

Painting and Drywall: Students learn to hang and finish drywall in both residential and commercial applications. They also learn to spray paint or use brush and roller applications and learn various coating applications. 

Preventing Relapse by Educating for Parole Success (PREPS): This program helps inmates address physical, emotional, psychological, and physiological issues that may affect their successful adaptation to society upon release. 

Ready to Work: The goal of this program is to increase an inmate's future marketability for employment. Participants create resumes, conduct job searches, complete job applications, practice interviewing, learn about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, practice dealing with rejection, and learn job retention skills.

Special Education: Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that meet the needs of inmates who qualify for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).

Thinking for A Change: The goal of this course is to decrease criminal thinking through cognitive behavioral changes and skill development.

Traumatic Stress and Resilience: This program aims to identify personal challenges, strengths and skills to promote recovery and build resilience.

Victim Impact – Listen and Learn: This program centers around 10 core crime topics, including assault, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, drunk and impaired driving, homicide, hate and bias, robbery, gang violence, and property crime. 

Pictures of Sussex I State Prison

Careers at Sussex I State Prison

If you are interested in a career with the Virginia Department of Corrections and would like more information about job listings at the Sussex I State Prison, click here.