Friday, February 2, 2018
Today marks the 38th anniversary of the Penitentiary of New Mexico prison riot. February 2, 1980. 38 years.
Almost four decades ago inmates who were fed up with overcrowding and lack of programming took over the Penitentiary of New Mexico. It started with offenders overpowering four officers. From there it took 22 minutes for inmates to take control of the whole prison.
The riot would go on for 36 hours. In these hours many received wounds that they would carry with them for the rest of their lives. For the families of the 33 murdered inmates the riot would never be over. Even though the emotional and physical pain can heal, scars are a permanent reminder of what was.
We remember the 14 correctional officers who went to work with the intent to do their job but were instead held hostage. We remember the 33 inmates who were murdered. None of whom were serving a life sentence. We remember because in order to have safer prisons, in order to lower the recidivism rate in New Mexico, in order to make a difference, we cannot forget our past.
As Winston Churchill once said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
February 2, 1980. A day that we will not forget, a day we should not forget. We can’t forget because we never want it to happen again. We can’t forget because in forgetting we not only fail those officers and inmates, we fail ourselves. By not forgetting we have the ability to make the future a brighter safer place for all New Mexicans.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
It is that time of the year again; Old Main Prison tours begin again in May. The first tours begin on Friday, May 5th and they will continue the first Friday and Saturday of the month until September.
These tours are to inform visitors about what happened during the February 2, 1980 riot and teach them more about the New Mexico Corrections Department. They are centered around the “Old Main” theme; “Respecting our Past to Create a Better future.”
The money from these tickets will go back into revitalizing the facility. For more information on dates and ticket availability click this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/old-main-prison-tours-2017-tickets-31616064500
The tickets are $15.00. No one under the age of 16 is permitted on the tour.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
February 2 marked the 37th anniversary of the Penitentiary of New Mexico prison riot. 37 years. Almost four decades ago on February 2, 1980 inmates who were fed up with overcrowding and lack of programming took over the Penitentiary of New Mexico.
It started with offenders overpowering four officers. From there it took 22 minutes for inmates to take control of the whole prison. In total they took hostage of 14 correctional officers. Inmates obtained power tools from a cellblock under construction, and used them to maim and torture other inmates. A total of 33 inmates were murdered during the riot. Although none of the hostages were murdered many of them were tortured, beaten, and stabbed.
The riot would go on for 36 hours. In these hours many received wounds that they would carry with them for the rest of their lives. For the families of the 33 murdered inmates and the 14 hostages the riot would never be over. Not all emotional and physical pain can heal.
This is why we remember what happened; to honor the officers and murdered inmates, because we never want it to happen again and because by not forgetting we can make the future better than our past.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Friday, November 18, 2016
Thursday, November 10, 2016
David Jablonski has over 20 years of both federal and state public safety experience. Prior to being appointed Acting Secretary of Corrections by Governor Susana Martinez, David served as the Deputy Superintendent of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department. As Deputy Superintendent, David managed all of the regulatory entities in the state including Alcohol and Gaming, Securities, Financial Institutions, Boards/Commissions, Administrative Services and the Construction Industries Division. Balancing public safety with the best business practices was a key component in safeguarding the best interests of the state of New Mexico.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
On Halloween, New Mexico Department of Corrections Probation/Parole worked with local law enforcement agencies across the state to conduct random visits to the homes of registered sex offenders under supervision. Every year our Probation/Parole Officers make it a priority to be active around the state to ensure the offenders are in full compliance.
In Sandoval county 34 field calls were conducted and they resulted in one arrest made.
The Hobbs probation and parole office had 18 offenders report to the office at 2pm and they were released at 9 pm. During this time Hamburgers were grilled, staff and each offender donated $10 to purchase the food and drinks. There was an outdoor screen and sound system provided by Marty Martinez, Youth Director from First Christian Church. Mr. Martinez also spoke to the offenders and provided words of encouragement.
When there is a collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies it is a step towards true public safety. These types of operations are crucial to keeping New Mexico safe. When people work together we can make a bigger difference in our communities.