Monday, August 2, 2021


Hundreds of thousands of Medi-Cal recipients are paying monthly premiums when they donít have to; Dr. Fauci predicts the pandemic will get worse.


The Texas voting rights fight gets star power; lawmakers stage a sit-in as the eviction moratorium expires; and Senators work overtime on infrastructure.

Approved NM Probation Reform Hits Snag


Thursday, March 21, 2019   

SANTA FE, N.M. – New Mexico lawmakers have discussed how to reduce the costs to the state for probation and parole for several years, but a bill passed in this legislative session has nonetheless hit a snag.

New Mexico's attorney general and all 14 of the state's district attorneys want the governor to veto House Bill 564, which would change what violations can send offenders back to jail or prison.

Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, who co-sponsored the bill, is bewildered by the pushback, and says those opposed don't seem to understand that better parole strategies can cut costs while protecting public safety, decreasing drug misuse and reducing incarceration.

"Twenty-two states have adopted this modern language, and you have to treat different crimes differently, you have to treat different probationers differently,” he points out. “If you treat everybody the same, then you get worse outcomes in terms of public safety."

Public safety is the reason the attorney general and district attorneys give for why the legislation should be vetoed.

Maestas is drafting his own letter to the governor to explain that the bill would require the Parole Board, which has denied parole to nearly all applicants in recent years, to make written findings in parole decisions.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 26-to-6.

A nonpartisan analysis by the state Legislature showed rising recidivism rates, with men and women returning to New Mexico prisons within three years of their release.

But Maestas says 70 percent of those released from prison are sent back on technical violations, and the new legislation would create a distinction between a legitimate violation and a technical violation.

"The only way you reduce crime is you reduce recidivism, so I must say that when folks dwell so much on punishment as a way to curb crime, it's very difficult for them to see public policy from an honest lens," he stresses.

Probation and parole populations in the U.S. grew 239 percent from 1980 to 2016, according to research by The Pew Charitable Trusts, without addressing the root cause of crime or improving public safety.

get more stories like this via email

Some tenants' advocates would like Virginia's new budget proposal for American Rescue Plan funding to include money for low-income renters to hire lawyers for eviction cases. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …

Social Issues

ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …

Social Issues

DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …

The Blackfeet Reservation is one of seven tribal reservations in Montana. (Kushnirov Avraham/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Pandemic fallout still has U.S. states clawing their way back to normalcy, and New Mexico believes its decision to provide more …

In a new poll, 64% of New Hampshire voters said they think capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as income from wages; 56% support increasing the corporate tax rate to 28%. (Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CONCORD, N.H. - New polling finds many New Hampshire voters think it's important that wealthy individuals and corporations pay what's described as …

Social Issues

AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …

Health and Wellness

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Local health departments that rely heavily on Advanced Practice Registered Nurses say the costly contract requirement that they be …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021