The Intriguing Psychology Behind Newport News City Jail

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What is newport news city jail?

Perhaps the most intriguing question in newport news city jail, Virginia, when it comes to this small city’s history. The City Jail of the City of Newport News is a place where people have been incarcerated for over 120 years.

But what is this large building on Church Street and what does it represent? Here are five interesting facts about this location. The first jail in America was built by the Colony of Virginia, based off the model from England. The city has had six different jails including a one that was made out of adobe bricks and another that was used as a funeral home for many years.

What is the role of newport news city jail?

The original purpose of the city jail has changed over time. The common practice was to detain anyone suspected of a crime. At first, poor people, vagrants and homeless people were confined in this small building. Later on, it was used for political prisoners as well as other types of prisoners.

The most recent political prisoner who was locked up at the jail was Hilda Lee. She spent 8 years in jail for protesting against South African apartheid and discrimination in America during the 1970s-80s. The current owner of newport news city jail wants to renovate the building into a museum that celebrates American history including military history, criminal justice, wars and disasters affecting the nation.

What are the advantages?

The main advantage of newport news city jail is its location. This building has been on the corner of Church and Washington Streets for over a century. Never in danger of being destroyed. The Newport News City Jail building has some great potential for conversion into a museum. The 2-3 story building covers an area of about 5,000 square feet and sits on an entire city block. It is located next to several government buildings including a library. Two elementary schools, a courthouse and county offices.

What are its disadvantages?

Although city jail is in good condition and very close to many other historical locations. It still has its own issues that prevent it from being used as a museum today. First, the City Jail has an old-school architectural style. That will not appeal to many visitors who are used to the clean and modern structures found in most museums. Second, it is currently owned by a private entity. Also the museum’s owner may decide not to sell or lease this property to anyone.


The future of the building is uncertain. The current owner wants to open a military history museum on the first floor. But has no clue about what happens on the other floors. Even though it is currently locked up and cannot be visit.  City jail remains one of the most famous landmarks in News Virginia because of its age. Also interesting architecture and unique history.


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