Los Lunas prison

Hannah Colton / KUNM

 

The New Mexico Corrections Department has released 92 prisoners since the COVID pandemic began, state officials said Thursday, and in the next week, that number could triple. The expected bump in releases follows months of demands from advocates.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The American Civil Liberties Union and prison activists have been calling on Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to take measures to prevent a mass outbreak of COVID-19 since before her April 6 order directing the New Mexico Corrections Department to identify prisoners who could be released. As of April 29, the department says just 29 inmates have been released out of about 6,700 people in New Mexico state prisons. Advocates have been gathering outside prisons in car rallies every Friday in April, demanding the state ensure inmates’ safety during the pandemic.