Prison cells go empty in New Mexico
While Colorado’s inmate population continues to rise, neighboring state New Mexico is experiencing a drop in prison population due in part to eased penalties against nonviolent offenders, according to a new study.
New Mexico’s inmate population has dropped 6.6 percent in the past two years, a state commission found, in stark contrast to national trends where populations continue to surge.
From our sister site, The New Mexico Independent:
The number of empty cells continues to grow in New Mexico prisons, a trend that has befuddled officials for more than a year. But now we may have the first systematic study on why, thanks to a New Mexico Sentencing Commission report.
Now prison officials are canceling contracts meant to help house state prisoners, and more cancellations may be on the way because there’s space where none was a few years ago.
The commission attributes the drop in population to various factors, including the reduction of prison time for nonviolent offenders, the use of “drug courts” to treat drug offenders and a new policy easing what parole violations merit incarceration.
A recent report (PDF) by the national Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that Colorado has a population of more than 22,000 state and federal inmates, nearly a 5 percent increase since 2000.
Another bureau study also reported this year that the total number of prisoners in the U.S. is continuing to increase, with a population of more than 7 million.
Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.
News Literacy Project event: Concerned about online misinformation? The lack of news literacy? You can make a difference by participating in this free workshop! After […]Read More
Cash dropped so far in Colorado’s governor race blows away 2010 and 2014 spending records – combined
With one week to go until the primary, spending in Colorado’s 2018 governor’s race has shattered records – even for spending in general elections in […]Read More