The big winner in Virginia Gov. John N. Dalton's 1980-82 proposed budget appears to be the state's criminal justice system, while the big losers appear to be education and social welfare.

In the budget's "general fund" section -- which totals $5.4 billion -- criminal justice funds are budgeted to rise 23 percent, while education funds would rise only 14.4 percent and social welfare, 15 percent. The increases in the latter two are expected to be below the rate of inflation, which economists say could be as high as 20 percent during the next two years.

In capital outlays -- money used for state construction -- criminal justice also will be the winner. At least $44 million of the $124.8 million in capital outlay general funds is slated for building three new prisons.

Another capital outlay expected to spark debate is $21.5 million earmarked for a new veterinary school at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The school has been championed by rural interests although some studies have suggested it is unneeded.

Northern Virginia's George Mason University will receive $4.3 million for library construction.

Other key features of the budget:

About $150 million in new funds is budgeted for localities. Should the measure pass Northern Virginia counties and cities will receive a total of about $10 million annually, which Dalton administration officials say could be used to meet some of the jurisdictions' Metro operating costs.

$141.6 million will go toward salary increases of 7 percent the first year and 4.5 percent the second year for state employes, many of whom have already denounced the increases as inadequate.

State revenues are expected to total $11.6 billion, a 22 percent increase from the $9.5 billion analysts said they collected during the 1978-80 budget period. The new figure includes nearly $195 million in surplus funds that were not spent during the last budget period.

Expenditures will reach $11.5 billion, up about 25 percent from the 1978-80 figure of $9.2 billion. But state officials caution that the old figures did not include many hidden revenues and expenditures that analysts have uncovered during a large-scale reform of the budget process.