Thursday, December 18, 2014

11 Prisons of Christmas

We told you it was coming, and it turned out even better than we could have imagined! This is the 11 prisons of Christmas video! Take a peak!

It is important to remember that our inmates are in prison for a reason, but it's also important to remember that they have the chance to give back while they serve their sentence. This is our way of having a little fun and showcasing their hard work!


On the first prison of Christmas the inmates gave to the community – gifts for the angel tree (otero)

On the second prison of Christmas the inmates gave to the community – 2 holiday meals  (CNMCF) and gifts for the angel tree

On the third prison of Christmas the inmates gave to the community – three days of signing (SCC), 2 holiday meals (CNMCF), and gifts for the angel tree

On the forth prison of Christmas the inmates gave to the community – four clean parks (WNMCF) , three days of singing  (SCC), 2 holiday meals (CNMCF), and gifts for the angel tree

On the fifth prison of Christmas the inmates gave to the community – wrapped toys for the toy run (LCCF) four clean parks (WNMCF) , three days of singing  (SCC), 2 holiday meals (CNMCF), and gifts for the angel tree

On the SIXTH prison of Christmas the inmates gave to the community – more than six socks for school kids (SNMCF)  wrapped toys  for the toy run (LCCF) four clean parks (WNMCF) , three days of singing  (SCC), 2 holiday meals (CNMCF), and gifts for the angel tree.

On the Seventh  prison of Christmas the inmates gave to the community – Hot choco and blankets (GCCF)– more than six socks for school kids (SNMCF)  wrapped toys  for the toy run (LCCF) four clean parks (WNMCF) , three days of singing  (SCC), 2 holiday meals (CNMCF), and gifts for the angel tree.

On the EIGHT  prison of Christmas the inmates gave to the community – at least 8 kids full bellies (NMWCF),  Hot choco and blankets (GCCF)– more than six socks for school kids (SNMCF)  wrapped toys  for the toy run (LCCF) four clean parks (WNMCF) , three days of singing  (SCC), 2 holiday meals (CNMCF), and gifts for the angel tree.

On the ninth prison of Christmas the inmates gave to the community – nine boxes of donations (PNM) at least 8 kids full bellies (NMWCF),  Hot choco and blankets (GCCF)– more than six socks for school kids (SNMCF)  wrapped toys  for the toy run (LCCF) four clean parks (WNMCF) , three days of singing  (SCC), 2 holiday meals (CNMCF), and gifts for the angel tree.

On the TENTH prison of Christmas the inmates gave to the community – 10 little booties(NENMDF), nine boxes of donations (PNM) at least 8 kids full bellies (NMWCF),  Hot choco and blankets (GCCF)– more than six socks for school kids (SNMCF)  wrapped toys  for the toy run (LCCF) four clean parks (WNMCF) , three days of singing  (SCC), 2 holiday meals (CNMCF), and gifts for the angel tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas the inmates gave to the community – 11 months of home building  (RCC), – 10 little booties(NENMDF), nine boxes of donations (PNM) at least 8 kids full bellies (NMWCF),  Hot choco and blankets (GCCF)– more than six socks for school kids (SNMCF)  wrapped toys  for the toy run (LCCF) four clean parks (WNMCF) , three days of singing  (SCC), 2 holiday meals (CNMCF), and gifts for the angel tree. 

On the 12th day of Christmas the Corrections Department gave a lot to the community – Here is some of the things the song didn’t cover, scarves, food, donations.. toys, wrapping paper, carols..  food service, cleaning, building.. time, love and friendship… money, work and humility… warmth , family and friends, and one grateful community.
Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Community Partnership Fair

Please join us on December 11th for our 1st Annual Community Partnership Fair. We would love to speak with you about a partnership with the New Mexico Corrections Department and how the partnership will benefit you. A partnership with us could mean productive, reliable employees for your workforce and a tax break for your business!!
Join us on December 11th at 1:30 p.m at 4337 State Road 14, Santa Fe.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

More than just serving up turkey...

Today the New Mexico Corrections Department took a historic step. We bought 50 inmates from CNMCF to the Albuquerque Convention Center to serve the annual Joy Junction Thanksgiving meal to the homeless.

For our inmates this was more than just serving up turkey, this was about giving back to those in need!

We are so proud of their positive attitudes! They even received a round of applause at the end!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

11 Prisons of Christmas

Do you remember the "12 days of Christmas" song? If you don't, or feel like having a flashback moment, watch the video below.
Well, we only have 11 prisons, but that's close enough! This year we are doing the 11 prisons of Christmas! It's a community outreach drive and every prison has been tasked with coming up with a  project! The inmates will get to decide what they want to do to give back for the holiday!

Some have already agreed to buy gifts for children in need with the money in their inmate accounts, others are fixing bicycles, and some are even providing food for those in need!

I can't wait to see what they all come up with and do our own little song!

Graduation and Going Green

Do you remember what it felt like to put on your cap and gown, stroll down the aisle as they called your name, be handed that diploma and finally move your tassel from one side to the other? Most of our inmates have never felt that; in fact more than half didn't finish high school. One of those being Alvin Mariano. But recently, he felt for the first time the sense of accomplishment that graduation give you!

Alvin and five other high security inmates from Level VI were the first in our Roots for Success class!

(Take a quick look at a video we did right after the class started)

These inmates were humanely restrained in security chairs so they could not get to one another, but could work together on assignments. The BIG SURPRISE, the cuffs and shackles were taken off yesterday during graduation! You wont want to miss Alvin's reaction, it's the first time in four years he has been uncuffed outside of his cell.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Habitat for Humanity and Inmates

Inmates at the Roswell Correctional Center have been lending their skills to Habitat for Humanity. This partnership has allowed the inmates to interact with the community. With the help of these inmates from RCC a lot of time and effort has been saved.

Their hard work is getting recognized in Artesia with this great piece from the Artesia Daily Press.








Monday, November 17, 2014

Supervision Success!

A year ago Martin Anaya was in prison. Now he has a great job and his life is headed down the right path.
He gives most of the credit to Moral Reconation Therapy also known as MRT. MRT is a treatment used to is designed to enhance self esteem, social, moral and positive behavior. Martin’s story is another reminder that programming is a big part of reducing recidivism. He is a great example that it is never too late to change your life.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Inmates and Equines

The Equine Rescue program at the Springer Correctional Center pairs honorably discharged veterans with abused and abandoned horses that have been seized by the livestock board. This program teaches the inmates patience and gives them skills that will help them make the transition out of prison. It also allows the horses to heal and learn to trust again in a loving and safe environment.

We were able to spend some time with the inmates and horses. Check it out!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Statewide Lockdown Ensures Safety


Media Outlets Sent – Statewide Media Release                                              

Reference: New Mexico Corrections Department statewide lockdown ensures prison safety

Date of Release: October 20, 2014


Details: New Mexico Corrections Department Secretary Gregg Marcantel has ordered a statewide lockdown of all eleven (11) prison facilities as part of a periodic review to ensure safety and security.


During this time, officers and staff will review procedures, search and clear every housing unit, cell and inmate, and take account of the current condition of the facilities. Operations like this are vital to not only ensuring the safety of our staff and other inmates, but also promote the pro-social prison environments necessary for reducing recidivism.  Inmates found in possession of contraband will face disciplinary action.


"In our business it's necessary to consider failure and the worst possible circumstances on a regular basis.  The real secret for succeeding in these unforgiving prison environments is deliberate and intentional preparation.  That's why we have to pause periodically and take a good look at ourselves" Secretary Marcantel said.

This statewide operation does not have an end date and will be lifted as each facility confirms all aspects of the operation have been carried out. During this time, all visits will be cancelled until lockdown is lifted.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Holy Hobby Craft Sales Batman!

WOW!!! We had an amazing first Hobby Craft Fair!!! More than 400 people, 10 facilities, and 20 inmates later, the total tally is.....drum roll please.... $17,369.30!!!

Can you believe it!

A portion of that money will go directly to victims, offender's children and into programming to help other offenders obtain transferable skills. The rest goes back to that offender to reinvest into their business.



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Help!!!! Dog supplies needed!

Help out a furry friend! Our Region III Probation and Parole office has been working hard with SNMCF to create a dog program that benefits the community and helps inmates. Now we need your help!!!

The program is going to let inmates take care of and train shelter dogs from the Animal Services Center of Mesilla Valley. This will get these pups a temporary home, increase their adoption chances and help our inmates learn dog training skills and how to take care of a pet that depends on their attention.
So how can you help??? WE NEED ITEMS TO START THE PROGRAM! Please donate blankets, dog crates, food bowls, doggy poop bags, treats, leashes, etc. The dog food is already being taken care of, but if you could help with these other items it would be AMAZING!

We CANNOT accept cash, so run to your local store and purchase items listed above! Heck, we would be thrilled to have your gently used items too!!! Then drop off your donations at the Las Cruces PPD office at 2635 West Picacho or at SNMCF at 1983 Joe R. Silva Boulevard
We want paws roaming our halls November 1st, so please donate today!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Straight from the inmate's mouth...

It's one thing for us to tell you how hard we are working to change lives. It's another when an inmate submits a letter to the editor without telling anyone.

What an amazing piece Inmate Atencio submitted:

(Need a refresher on what is RPP? Click Here)
This piece ran in the Rio Grande Sun in late August. Just yesterday we showed this video to lawmakers of what inmates are saying about the new programming.


We have much more exciting news about the RPP program that will be released in a few weeks, so stay tuned!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wheels are Rolling

100! That is how many wheelchairs our inmates have fixed up and provided to people in third world countries who can't afford a wheelchair. Check out the heart warming pictures we have received back.
Used and/or broken wheelchairs are collected from all across the United States, and in our partnership with Joni and friends, are shipped to SNMCF. The first wheelchairs were delivered to Casa de La Miseicodia Bugambilia, a church in Mexico.

You remember the Wheels for the World program at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility. Last December Governor Susana Martinez announced the program to refurbish broken and worn down Wheelchairs (Need a refresher? Watch the video down below)


Friday, September 5, 2014

Hybrid Transitional Living = A Safer New Mexico

It’s no secret that New Mexico has few options for offenders when they are released from prison. The great resources we do have are often strained and the waiting list can be a couple pages deep.
We know many of our offenders need a place to transition when they are released from custody. Somewhere they can continue to receive treatment, work on their education or vocation skills, be held accountable, be safe, you name it.

For us at the New Mexico Corrections Department, it’s not enough to say, “Too bad there aren’t more halfway homes or treatment centers.” We have decided that we must do more to help our offenders and our communities.

96% of the people in prison right now are coming home. Currently we have about 200 inmates that are ready to pack up and leave prison, but there is nowhere for them to go. The release process includes a lot of work from our case managers, parole officers and the Parole Board. Other states seem to have figured out a new approach that we believe will be very successful in New Mexico.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let us introduce you to the age of Transitional Housing. To understand transitional housing you must first understand the difference between it and a halfway house. A halfway house is a home where an offender lives post release but does not receive programming in the house, but is seen outside. Transitional Living is a home where offenders post release live and receive structured substance abuse and vocational programming in the facility. The offender is still allowed to work in the community and program at night. 

The New Mexico Corrections Department is 100% committed to creating a hybrid transitional living home. Here is how it works. Offenders who are about six months from release would move into one side of the home (let’s say the left). This left side would be staffed with corrections officers and staff to help the inmate prepare for release. The same way we do things now, except for the offender is being housed somewhere with more freedoms and specifically for inmates who are about to rejoin the community. The big day arrives, parole day. The offender would then be transferred to the other side of the home (the right side). This side would be staffed with treatment providers and probation and parole officers. Our Corrections Industries Division would work to find the offender employment in the community and the department would ensure they make it to work during the day. At night, treatment and education classes would be given to continue to help the offender transition back into our neighborhoods.

We know this program works and in states with comparable houses, their recidivism rate averages about 22% -- a big change from New Mexico’s 47%.

While we are running towards the goal, we have to start small. NMCD continues to work with our partners at the state and county levels to create this hybrid model, but we aren’t sitting back and waiting for something to happen; we are making things happen!

Currently renovation is being completed on what’s referred to the Bullock house. It’s a cottage at our Los Lunas Campus where the Men’s Recovery Academy sits. This cottage will soon hold 16 women and a residential advisor. The women will be placed in jobs and have the chance to slowly transition back into their communities. We are working with private partners to make sure we will continue treatment for these women and really prepare them to stay home for good. It’s not the end all goal, but it’s a start.

So here is the million dollar question, we are all in on this goal, will you join us and make New Mexico a better place?

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!