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Bernalillo County seeking to fix jail overcrowding

Bernalillo County officials say there may be as many as 1,000 people being held at the chronically overcrowded Metropolitan Detention Center who don't need to be there.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/Rp9rnZ) that officials plan to take around 400 from behind bars and put them in programs where they can be monitored and get help.

The plan is to expand the 2nd Judicial District Court's pretrial services program and the county's Community Custody Program, which would cover some defendants awaiting trial and others already sentenced.

Officials said many in both programs will be "low risk" but "high need" such as homeless people, those with substance abuse problems, mental health issues or some combination.

Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said in an email that he favors the county's proposals.