This blog is maintained by the New Mexico Corrections Department Public Affairs Director. The purpose of this blog is to showcase what is happening at NMCD in both the Adult Prisons Division and Probation and Parole.
"We commit to the safety and well-being of the people of New Mexico by doing the right thing, always."
Please contact email@example.com if you have questions about this blog.
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)
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
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
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?