Thursday, January 9, 2014

Beginning Blogger

Well, this is our first go at what we expect will be a behind the scenes look at some of the great work happening at the New Mexico Corrections Department!


To kick things off, we thought we would share this good news!

The New Mexico Corrections Department’s commitment to reducing the use of segregation, a setting where inmates live alone and do not participate in group events, has taken a large step forward with the first group of offenders being moved out of a segregation environment into a general population setting.


Recently, the department calculated that approximately 9.6% of the State's prison population is held in segregation environments. The department is aiming to reduce that to approximately 5% over the course of next year. Corrections has already taken steps to lower the number of inmates in segregation by moving inactive, non-predatory gang members out into a general population setting.


“We've made it clear that when you come to prison, you are going to be accountable for the crimes you have committed.  On the other hand, it's up to us as corrections professionals to understand that many of our inmates have the capacity to be accountable and grow from their circumstances,” Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel said. “So we are going to give non-predatory inmates a chance at new freedoms and opportunities to change.  With these new freedoms, they will now have a chance to hug their children or family members during visits and become better parents, spouses, and children themselves.  They will have a chance to participate in group education and life skills programming, to take part in hobby craft and other job training programs.”


“Let there be no doubt that these new privileges come with a clear understanding that these offenders must remain accountable.  Following the rules is simply not negotiable.  We have made it clear that we will maintain safe prisons and if these inmates choose to jeopardize that safety, they will have no one other than themselves to blame for the loss of these privileges.  This won't be a matter of the NMCD taking away an inmate's privileges, the inmate will be giving back the freedoms we have given them and want them to have." Marcantel said.


To start off 2014, 11 more inmates who had been assessed and identified as good candidates for the Restoration to Population program are being moved out of segregation over a 4 week process to acclimate them to life in general population again.


Since October of 2013, about 50 inmates have now been moved into a general population setting.