KUNM

criminal justice

CORECIVIC VIA FLICKR CC

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico on Monday, Nov. 4, filed the third in a series of lawsuits charging that prison guards are sexually assaulting and abusing women who are locked up. All three lawsuits say these individual cases are part of a larger systemic problem in the state’s Department of Corrections.

courtesy of Kimberlee Hanson / GBCS

Gordon Bernell Charter School fills a gap in New Mexico’s education system, helping adults in jail or who have previously been incarcerated to build the skills they need to finish high school. The school’s future is uncertain after the state Legislature this year banned schools from claiming Public Education Department funding for students over age 21. Leaders at the school went before lawmakers this week to ask for a stable funding source.

CoreCivic via Flickr CC

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico filed a second lawsuit Monday, July 29, on behalf of a woman who says she was subject to repeated sexual abuse from a corrections officer while she was in the Springer prison. The lawsuit says her complaints weren’t taken seriously by prison administration, and the accused officer maintains his job and position today.

New Mexico sent state police officers to patrol Albuquerque in May after a UNM athlete was shot and killed. Residents in some communities here raised concerns about over-policing and said their neighborhoods were being targeted. Officials said the state officers would be staying until around the Fourth of July. But as that exit date approaches next week, state police don’t have any idea about when they’ll be leaving.

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People in Albuquerque may think getting busted with a little marijuana results in only a ticket and a fine. But state police officers were sent to Albuquerque in May to crack down on crime, and they’re enforcing state law. That means there’s still a way for even small amounts of weed or paraphernalia to put people here in cuffs.

Arianna Sena/KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 1/10 8a: Education is the top priority for New Mexico's new governor and Democratic legislative leaders as the 2019 State Legislature begins a new session next week. What would you like to see lawmakers achieve in the session? What issues are most important to you? And what would you like to see news organizations cover during the session? Our panel of local journalists will discuss the top issues for the session and our coverage priorities. And we'd like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet to #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show. 

Three Strikes Stalls In Committee In Santa Fe

Jan 25, 2018
Richie Diesterheft via Flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

A three strikes enhancement bill stalled in a committee hearing at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe Thursday.

Recovery Courts For Teens

Jun 13, 2017
Joe Gratz via Flickr / Creative Commons

Young people who end up in the court system for substance abuse are at a crucial point in their lives. In many New Mexico communities, recovery courts provide resources for minors to address substance abuse and take advantage of mental health services. One goal is to address drug use before a minor ends up in the adult court system.

orangesparrow via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 5/18 8a. Many New Mexicans are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. When they break the law for driving under the influence or committing a crime related to their addiction, should they go to jail or into treatment? 

From the 2013 ACLU-NM report "Inside The Box"

Advocates around the country have been working to limit the use of solitary confinement in jails and prisons. The New Mexico Legislature passed a bill this year that would prohibit putting people who are under 18 or pregnant or who have a serious mental illness into solitary. But last week, Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed it.

Arianna Sena / Creative Commons

Who should investigate or prosecute controversial police use of force and shootings? That’s a problem that comes up in law enforcement departments everywhere. A bill introduced during this legislative session tries to address it, but the measure’s being hamstrung by this year’s budget crunch. 

LISTEN: What's It Cost To Get Tough On Crime?

Mar 6, 2017
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ze_valdi/7556549414/

KUNM Call In Show 3/9 8a: Violent crimes have stolen headlines over the last year, while property crimes remain a persistently unpleasant part of life all over New Mexico. Lawmakers in Santa Fe are debating how to reduce crime—but with little money available to do it. Which ideas could reduce crime and save money? Which sound good but cost a lot and have no guarantee? And which proposals have more to do with politics than anything else? 

MoDOT Photos via Flickr / Creative Commons License

When you think of a drug sting operation, you might think of busting drug dealers. Last week the chief of the Albuquerque Police Department defended a reverse drug sting operation in which undercover officers posed as dealers in early May and arrested mainly homeless people and people with mental health issues who tried to buy drugs.

Marisa Demarco

UPDATE 6/8: In the race for the Democratic nomination for Bernalillo County District Attorney, Raul Torrez handily beat Ed Perea with 67 percent of votes. KOB-TV reports the former deputy U.S. Attorney General will face Republican Simon Kubiak in November.

Kari Brandenburg, who has served as Bernalillo County DA for 15 years, did not run for re-election this year. 

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pixabay via CC

The company that handles medical services for prisoners in the state—Corizon Health—is facing hundreds of lawsuits filed by inmates who say care is inadequate. A series in the Santa Fe New Mexican investigates whether state officials have been ignoring warning signs or have done an inadequate job overseeing Corizon. 

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