Friday, February 12, 2016

Corrections Industries


The 2016 Legislative Session has arrived. This is one in a series of posts from the staff of the New Mexico Corrections Department. We intend to send a daily update to all our legislators with key points, facts, figures, personal stories describing life here at NMCD.

What is Corrections Industries?

The Corrections Industries Division (CID), an enterprise agency within the New Mexico Corrections Department, was established by an act of the New Mexico Legislature in 1978. As a business, Corrections Industries is committed to maintain and expand inmate work training programs which develop marketable skills, instill and promote positive work ethics, minimize inmate idleness and reduce the tax burden of the Corrections Department. In addition, CID is committed to continue to assist NMCD in reducing recidivism 10% over the next two years.

CID is a unique blend of business and government, using private industry tools and techniques to provide a public service.  The Division is financed through a revolving fund, from which all operating expenses are paid. Operations within the correctional facilities are supported by sales to state agencies, schools, county and local governments, and not-for-profit organizations. Hundreds of inmates gain work experience and training as they produce high quality, competitively priced products. The Division employs 16 staff and supervisory personnel to manage an average of 300 inmates in 21 programs at seven different facilities around the state.

The Corrections Industries Division is governed by an oversight commission with advisory authority. The Commissions seven volunteer members are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the New Mexico Senate for staggered terms of four years or less; the governor designates one member as the chair.

2014-2015 Members:

John Serrano, Chair, Santa Rosa, NM

Jay Armijo, Vice Chair, Williamsburg, NM

Nick Brown, Clayton, NM

P. Robert Alexander, Santa Fe, NM

Harold Foreman, Las Cruces, NM

Christine Van Norman, Corrales, NM

Alfred Porter, Albuquerque, NM

What has Cid done in the past year?

   Expanded a joint venture program with Keefe Corporation to provide Canteen Services to the inmates at all of the six state-run facilities providing 15 inmate labor positions from the Penitentiary of New Mexico and provided Family Packaging Services to the inmates at all of the six state-run facilities generating more revenues for programming.

   Expanded the “Old Main” tours addressing the issues surrounding the 1980 New Mexico prison riot.  Proceeds from ticket sales were used to further the restoration of the “Old Main” as well as fund inmate programming.

   Took over operations of the kitchens at the Penitentiary of New Mexico and the Training Academy.

   Partnered with NMSU to build Hoop Houses at the Penitentiary of New Mexico to grow vegetables and fruit to support facility food services and ornamental plants for use by the landscape crews.

   Partnered with NMSU and Turquoise Trail Elementary School to build a Hoop House for the students to grow fresh vegetables to support healthy food choices and to learn about alternative programs.


Corrections Industries (CI) took over the Food Services for both the Penitentiary of New Mexico and the Training Academy in October of 2014. The goal was two-fold:

I. To provide a better meal without any additional costs and

II. To focus on a vocational training program in food services

CI collaborated with NMSU to build hoop houses at the Penitentiary of New Mexico to provide fresh grown vegetables for the inmates and provide a training program in agriculture for the inmates at the Level II. In November 2014, with NMSU oversight, the inmates built four hoop houses. Another four were recently completed.


The four hoop houses generated over 850 lbs. of fresh vegetables.


Cost savings are not immediately measurable because fresh vegetables were not served prior to the establishment of these hoop houses. Accordingly, no baseline exists for comparison. The fresh vegetables served are in addition to the approved menu. If we can maintain the poundage of vegetables, we can request that they be added to the menu instead of the canned vegetables.

WHAT IS THE LEVEL OF inmate participation in the effort?

CI hired six inmates to cultivate the hoop house crops. In addition, each inmate had to participate in the “Roots of Success” program. The “Roots of Success Program is a four-week environmental literacy program; specifically designed for learners who struggle in traditional academic settings. The program engages students to think about their communities and challenges students to practice environmentally conscious life styles. It also prepares students for green jobs.

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