More than 500 inmates and counting released due to pandemic concerns

As of July 2021, more than 500 inmates in New Mexico‘s prisons have been let out early on the governor’s orders to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Per KRQE:

As of July 2021, more than 500 inmates in New Mexico‘s prisons have been let out early on the governor’s orders to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. The state did not release violent criminals, mostly people behind bars for theft and drugs. The New Mexico Corrections Department said they’re closely monitoring them.

In April 2020 when the pandemic started tearing through New Mexico, the state had around 6,590 inmates in its network of prisons. Since then, the Department of Corrections has released 532 inmates early and more are waiting in the queue to get out. “The goal of the executive order was to really decrease the population to allow for social distancing and really minimize the spread of COVID in the prison system,” said Eric Harrison with the DOC.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s executive order in April 2020 directed the DOC to let inmates out 30 days before their projected release date. “There was very strict criteria that needed to be met including parole plans had to be in place which included appropriate housing and any community-based treatment that was necessary or programs all had to be in place prior to their release,” said Harrison.

The state isn’t letting just anyone walk free. “No sex offenders, felony DWI offenders, domestic abuse,” added Harrison. Basically non-violent offenses like drugs, theft, and fraud to name a few.

Convicts like Stanley Milton and Eduardo Triste. Milton was caught trying to steal computers from Freedom High School back in 2016 and Triste swindled a woman out of $60,000 by convincing her to invest in a fake salsa business. Triste is set to be released later this month. Although the state has lifted its COVID-19 restrictions, the executive order remains. The Governor’s Office said it’s still trying to keep up with vaccinations for DOC staff and inmates.

For the prisoners who do get out, they have to meet with probation and parole officers to make sure they’re sticking to their release plan. “These are individualized plans so that offenders, when they’re released, they’re successful,” said Harrison. “The community stays safe and that offenders, that individual is able to reintegrate back into society to be our neighbors.”

KRQE News 13 asked the DOC what the recidivism rate of these released offenders was. DOC said it’s trying to figure that out. They say the majority of their inmates are vaccinated even though they are not required to get the shot. The state said they’re also notifying the victims of the offenders before their release.

2 days, 13 hours ago

Virginia Democrats Voted to Allow Schools to Refrain from Reporting Sexual Battery in 2020

Virginia Democrats passed a law allowing schools to refrain from reporting instances of sexual battery, stalking, and other crimes occurring on school property in 2020

3 days, 9 hours ago

Sen. Tim Scott endorses McMaster in South Carolina governor's race

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott didn't endorse a primary candidate in South Carolina's 2018 gubernatorial race, but for 2022, he's offering an early nod to incumbent Republican Gov. Henry McMaster.

4 days, 12 hours ago

Youngkin says education is top issue in Virginia governor race: 'Parents are absolutely angry'

Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin on Tuesday referred to education as the top issue in the state's election

4 days, 15 hours ago

Abbott Completely Bans Vaccine Mandates By Any Employer In Texas

"The Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates."

5 days, 15 hours ago

Gov’s campaign paid $87.5K more to ex-staffer

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s campaign paid an additional $87,500 over the past six months as part of a settlement with a former staff member who had accused her of sexual mistreatment during a 2018 meeting

1 week, 1 day ago

Arizona border just as ‘out of control’ as Texas, Gov. Doug Ducey warns

Border Patrol agents in western Arizona’s Yuma region have encountered 1,038% more suspected illegal immigrants year-over-year.