Monday, August 25, 2014

STIU'S K-9's are cooler than your's...

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a prison K-9? Guts, a nose that could sniff out cell phone, a pretty gnarly bark and a good leader!
Take a look at our K-9's and their handlers.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Corrections Aims to ENDWI

We hear about it nearly every night on the news; drunk driving. At the New Mexico Corrections Department, we work to provide therapy, counseling and education to help drunk drivers stop the cycle, but we know we are only one piece of the puzzle.

There are currently about 500 offenders in a New Mexico prison for drunk driving; 98 of those have either killed or seriously injured someone in a DWI crash.

This is simply not acceptable, and Secretary Gregg Marcantel challenged us to come up with plan to take a bigger chunk of that puzzle. Check out what our staff came up with!

Friday, July 25, 2014

From Segregation to Population

We have been talking about it for months; reducing segregation. But we thought if you could see it, maybe it would help explain how we are achieving this! When Secretary Marcantel and our staff made a commitment to reduce the use of segregation, we had to look at who is living in segregation, why and do they need to still be there?

One group we have focused on is our former gang members who have denounced their membership, followed the rules and have been programming. The restoration to population program was created to help these men, some of whom have have lived in segregation for years, out of Level VI and into a general population setting when they can receive more indepth and longer programming and group therapy sessions.
Take a look at just some of these men and the changes they have undergone as you follow them from Level VI to Level III.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Inmate Fire Crews Doing Their Part

Secretary Gregg Marcantel is always preaching inmate accountability. This is two-fold; holding offenders accountable for their actions, but understanding that a majority of them can and want to be accountable. Perhaps one of the best examples of this is the Inmate Fire Crews.

We trekked along yesterday in the Jemez as they did work that may seem small, but could make a huge difference. Take a look!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Our Neighbors Need Your Help!!!

The New Mexico Corrections Department prides ourselves on being good neighbors. Public Safety is our number one goal, and sometimes that takes more than just supervising inmates in the prisons or offenders on probation and/or parole (PPD). We never shy away from stepping up, whether it's officer's using their own money to buy Christmas presents for children of offenders, or volunteering their time to help others, community comes first.

Last year we had a very successful bottled water drive during the floods.
Some of our PPD staff suggested round 2 for the folks currently being displaced by the Assayii fire. Since fire season is here, we thought not only could we host a water and non-perishable food drive for these neighbors, but take in supplies to have ready if future fires break out (of course we hope and pray they won’t).

So, please spread the word that water can be dropped off at any regional or district PPD office. Here is a map of our regions and offices.

We appreciate your help and care for our neighbors!

Monday, June 16, 2014

"Most Wanted Offenders" more than just faces on a poster

You may have seen our "Most Wanted" posters. But have you really stopped to look at the faces on the flyers? Sometimes we fall into that "I wouldn't know anyone on this list" mentality, but is that really true?

Every week we sit at a red light next to another driver, stop to get groceries in a crowded supermarket full of unknown faces, hit the gym or take a run/walk around your neighborhood with strangers passing by, or maybe catch a movie/dinner/concert/ or a number of other fun things at a new location. You never know when one of these offenders could pass right by you, but if you ignore the flyer, you will never know.

Second thought, "Why would these people matter to me?" Well, the Secretary likes to say that offenders don't abscond from supervision because they joined the Peace Corps. When an offender doesn't want to check in, follow the rules and stay on track, it's normally because they have fallen back into substance abuse, may have committed a new crime, are hanging out with the wrong crowd, you name it. The New Mexico Corrections Department's mission is centered on public safety, and allowing offenders to not follow the rules and abscond isn't good public safety. We won't stand for it and neither should you.

We are here to help offenders better themselves, but for those that aren't ready to take responsibility and be held accountable, it's important that they face a judge or the Parole Board to be held responsible.

So, will you take a few minutes and get a good look at the offenders on our June flyer? Then look for them when you are out and about; it could make more of a difference than you would ever know.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Honoring a Hero 34 Years Later

As some of you may know, Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel conveyed the Medal of Honor to the corrections officers held hostage during the 1980 prison riot. When that ceremony took place in early 2013, some of the families could not be located. Since then we have been working hard on the Old Main revitalization project and trying to contact the families to make sure they understand what is happening with the facility.

Earlier this week we received an email that help put one more piece of the puzzle together. Priscilla Melgar's father, Herman Gallegos, was the work release officer on duty the night of the riot. He and three other officers were attacked outside of Dormitory F, moments after inmates had overpowered officers in Dormitory E next door.

In a struggle, Officer Gallegos was able to escape and ran into Dormitory F where sympathetic inmates hid him. After about three hours in terrifying conditions, Officer Gallegos spotted a chance to escape and took it. Dressed in an inmates uniform, he was able to walk out unnoticed. Here is a picture of him with the Archbishop at the time moments after his escape.

We now know that shortly after his escape rioters broke into a protective custody unit, Cellblock 4, and murdered 16 inmates from that area. By the time the 36 hour riot ended, 33 inmates were dead, approximately 100 more had been beaten and/or raped. Another 100 or so needed treatment for overdosing on medication taken from the medical unit.

Every officer came out alive, but some were severely injured and all would never forget what they had lived through.

We were honored to recognize Officer Gallegos at the graduation of class 307 Thursday. His family was given his Medal of Honor.
We honor and respect the officers over the decades who have worked in dangerous environments to keep us safe!