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What is the Law on Breach of Prison or Breaking Prison in Virginia and What are the Punishments for it?

Prison break is not a joking matter. If criminals and dangerous offenders escape back into the city streets it will get dangerous for everyone. If you have seen Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece The Dark Knight Rises then you already know why a super-villain like Bane would like to release all the prisoners onto the city of Gotham. Prison break is always scandalous and exciting news around the world.

Innumerable movies and series have been made about a prison escape. The Shawshank Redemption is one of the most popular Hollywood movie and one of the highest rates in IMDB. Other masterpieces of this genre include The Escapist, Escape Plan, Escape from Alcatraz. The thrill and popularity of prison break in our culture have in some ways romanticized the notion.


The prisoners are kept in a correctional facility for a reason. The news of a serial killer, rapist, or sexual offender roaming free is never good news for anyone. Let us first understand what entails a prison break to understand the laws against it better.

Virginia Breach of Peace Law

What is Prison Break?

Prison break is synonymous to prison breach, bust out, breakout, or prison escape. It is the act of a captive or detainee leaving the prison premises in an illegal or unofficial way. Generally, as soon as the authorities get to know about this escape they try to find and recapture the prisoner. A prison breach in most cases ends up adding more time to the inmate’s prison sentence.

Prison break in some countries is considered a criminal offense that is punishable by law. The United States of America and Russia are two such countries where prison break is dealt with as a criminal offense. Though there are a few countries in the world who thinks if prisoners try to escape they are acting on a basic human instinct to get liberty which cannot be held as a criminal offense. The degree of punishment depends on whether aggravating factors like violence was used.

Ways of Prevention?

Numerous security measures are in place to make sure that prisoners do not get to escape. The security level of each individual institution determines the level of security placed.

Some preventive measures used in jails may include motion sensors, barred windows, CCTV, high walls, barbed wire, and electric fencing.

Breach of Peace Law Virginia
Law against Prison Break in Virginia

All over the United States of America, a prison break is considered to be a criminal offense. When the defendant is proved guilty of this, he/she is punishable by law.

For an escaped prisoner the sentence of this crime starts after the original term ends.

In the state of Virginia if the prisoner escapes by violence or force that is separate from setting fire to the prison, then he or she is guilty of a class 6 felony. A class 6 felony in the court of Virginia is punishable by imprisonment of at least one year. The maximum sentence for this crime can be 5 years. This law is coded under 1950, § 18.1-289; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1985, c. 555.

Punishment for Prison Break in Virginia

As it was already discussed before, a prison break is considered to be a Class 6 felony in the state of Virginia. Class 6 felonies are the least serious in Virginia. It is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of two thousand five hundred dollars according to Va.Ann.Code § 18.2-10. But this Class 6 felony becomes an even more serious issue for a criminal, as it adds to their already existing prison sentence.


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