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Reducing Costs and Recidivism Report, June, NM DOC 2012

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The LEGISLATIVE FINANCE COMMITTEE

New Mexico Corrections Department
Reducing Recidivism, Cutting Costs and Improving Public Safety in the
Incarceration and Supervision of Adult Offenders
June 14, 2012
Report #12-07

LEGISLATIVE FINANCE COMMITTEE
Senator John Arthur Smith, Chairman
Representative Luciano “Lucky” Varela, Vice-Chairman
Senator Sue Wilson Beffort
Senator Pete Campos
Senator Carlos R. Cisneros
Representative William “Bill” J. Gray
Senator Stuart Ingle
Representative Rhonda S. King
Representative Larry A. Larrañaga
Senator Carroll H. Leavell
Senator Mary Kay Papen
Representative Henry “Kiki” Saavedra
Representative Nick L. Salazar
Representative Edward C. Sandoval
Senator John Sapien
Representative Don L. Tripp
Representative James P. White
DIRECTOR
David Abbey
DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR PROGRAM EVALUATION
Charles Sallee
PROGRAM EVALUATION TEAM
Jeff Canney, CGFM
Jon Courtney, PhD
Valerie Crespin-Trujillo
Jack Evans
Brenda Fresquez, CICA
Pamela Galbraith
Maria D. Griego
Matthew Pahl
Michael Weinberg, EdD

Senator John Arthur Smith
Chairman
Senator Sue Wilson Bettort
Senator Pete Campos
Senator Carlos R. Cisneros
Senator Stuart Ingle
Senator Carron H. Leavell
Senator Mary Kay Papen
Senator John M. Sapien

State ofNew Mexico

Representative Luciano "Lucky" Varela

LEGISLATIVE FINANCE COMMITTEE
325 Don Gaspar, Suite 101 • Santa Fe, NM 87501
Phone: (505) 986-4550 • Fax (505) 986-4545

David Abbey
Director

Vice-Chairman
Representative WiUiam "Bill" J. Gray
Representative Rhonda S. King
Representative Larry A. Larraiiaga
Representative Henry Kiki Saavedra
Representative Nick L. Salazar
Repr~ntative Edward C. Sandoval
Representative Don L. Tripp
Representative James P. White

June 14,2012

Mr. Gregg Marcantel, Secretary
New Mexico Corrections Department
4337 State Road 14
P.O. Box 27116,
Santa Fe, NM 87502-0116
Dear Secretary Marcantel:
On behalf of the Legislative Finance Committee (Committee), I am pleased to transmit our report on the New
Mexico Corrections Department entitled Reducing Cost and Recidivism in the Incarceration and Supervision of
Adult Offenders. The evaluation team reviewed the department's re-entry efforts, assessed the costs and
associated outcomes of community-based correctional services, including probation and parole, and conducted a
cost-benefit analysis of selected in-house re-entry programs designed to reduce recidivism.
As a part of this evaluation, the Committee has partnered with the Pew Center for the States to implement a
cost-benefit model that has the potential to be a key tool in strategic budget development. We plan to work
closely with your department in further refining this model as a tool for making informed policy decisions.
An exit conference was conducted with the Corrections Department on May 31, 2012 to discuss the contents of
this report. The report will be presented to the Committee on June 14,2012 in Hobbs. The Committee would
like a plan to address the recommendations within this report within 30 days from the date of the hearing.
I believe that this report addresses issues the Committee asked us to review and hope all participating entities
will benefit from our efforts. We very much appreciate the cooperation and assistance we received from your
staff and your private corrections partners, as well as from. representatives of other state agencies and
organizations.

sinc~dh

DaVi~~Direc~~-~ l
Cc:

Senator John Arthur Smith, Chairman, Legislative Finance Committee
Representative Luciano "Lucky" Varela, Vice-Chairman, Legislative Finance Committee
Sandra Dietz, Chair, New Mexico Parole Board
Tony Ortiz, Executive Director, New Mexico Sentencing Commission
Linda Roebuck Homer, CEO, New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative
Catherine Torres, M.D., Secretary, Department of Health
Arthur Pepin, Director, Administrative Office ofthe Courts
Hector Balderas, State Auditor, NM Office of the State Auditor

Table of Contents
Page No.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .....................................................................................................................5
BACKGROUND INFORMATION......................................................................................................12
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.........................................................................................14
Reducing Recidivism Through Strategic Investment Can Save Millions and Improve Public Safety 14
The Use Of In-House Parole Costs $10 million a Year and Could Undermine Public Safety ............20
Lack of Valid Assessments and Poor Management of Prison Programs and Resources Inadequately
Prepare Inmates for Successful Transition Into The Community........................................................24
More Community-Based Resources Are Needed and Existing Resources Could Be Better Used .....33
PPD Officers Are Comparatively Underpaid, Have High Turnover Rates, and Are Faced With
Increasing Caseloads ...........................................................................................................................39

AGENCY RESPONSES ........................................................................................................................42
APPENDIX A: EVALUATION SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY ..................................................48
APPENDIX B: POTENTIAL NMCD COST SAVINGS ...................................................................50
APPENDIX C: EVIDENCE-BASED IMPLEMENTATION IN OTHER STATES .......................51
APPENDIX D: NATIONAL RECIDIVISM REDUCTION FOR PROGRAM TYPES .................52
APPENDIX E: BREAKDOWN OF REASONS FOR IN-HOUSE PAROLE ..................................53
APPENDIX F: NMCD CLASSIFICATION CUSTODY LEVELS (I-VI) .......................................54
APPENDIX G: NMCD COMMUNITY FUNDED SERVICE PROVIDERS ..................................55
APPENDIX H: NMCD FY12 Q3 REPORT CARD............................................................................56

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Offenders will have an average of
three trips to an NMCD facility.

General Fund
Appropriations to NMCD
(in thousands)*
$350,000
$300,000
$250,000
$200,000
$150,000
$100,000
$50,000
$0
FY09 FY10 FY11 FY12 FY13
Inmate Management and Control
Inmate Programming**
Community Offender Management
Community Corrections
Program Support
*Corrections Industries does not receive general
fund appropriations
**Inmate Programming was merged into Inmate
Management and Control in FY11.

The average cost per inmate in
New Mexico was $34 thousand in
FY10 whereas the average cost
per public school student was
$7,300.

New Mexico is facing a growing prison population projected to exceed
current capacity within the next decade. In FY11, New Mexico spent almost
$300 million to house an average of 6,700 offenders and supervise another
18 thousand offenders each day. The New Mexico Corrections Department
(NMCD) released 3,440 offenders from prison into the community that same
year and if current trends continue, over half of these inmates will return to
prison within five years. Although NMCD takes up a lesser amount of
general fund compared with public education, the average cost per inmate in
New Mexico was $34 thousand in FY10, whereas the average cost per
public school student the same year was $7,300.
Costs of offenders who recidivate are substantial and result in general
expenses to taxpayers and specific expenses to victims. The average
offender will have three trips to a NMCD facility. Therefore the citizens of
New Mexico pay costs of arresting, prosecuting, housing, rehabilitating and
supervising offenders many times over. Investments in programs for
reducing recidivism and promoting rehabilitation and treatment, in addition
to security, are vital in improving public safety and reducing costs. The
state continues to make significant investments in such programs.
The NMCD provides more than 40 programs within facilities and more than
30 providers conduct programs outside of NMCD facilities designed to
facilitate reentry and reduce recidivism. According to the Pew Center on the
States’ Public Safety Performance Project, states that strategically improve
release preparation and community supervision will see falling recidivism
rates. Instead of falling, New Mexico’s recidivism is on the rise.
The NMCD has potential to reduce costs and improve public safety.
However, the NMCD currently suffers from gaps in program oversight,
ineffective use of resources, and patterns of inefficient spending.
Programming is inadequately targeted or tracked, resulting in expansion of
unproven programs and reductions in evidence-based programming.
Programs available in the community for offenders on supervision lack
adequate accountability, have limited resources for high-risk offenders, and
are not measured for performance by the NMCD, the Behavioral Health
Collaborative (BHC), or OptumHealth. As a result, contract funds are left
unspent at OptumHealth for years at a time. Reduced programming, in turn,
is partially responsible for the fact that 278 inmates are serving parole inside
prison.
Significant opportunities exist to improve the incarceration and supervision
of offenders in New Mexico. The NMCD has recognized many of these and
have started working on improving reentry and use of evidence based
programs before this report was issued. As a part of this evaluation, the LFC
has partnered with Results First, a project of the Pew Center on the States
and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, to implement a
cost-benefit model that has the potential to be a key tool in strategic budget
development. This report includes initial results from that model along with
recommendations to improve assessment, management, and allocation of

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
Reducing Cost and Recidivism in the Incarceration and Supervision of Adult Offenders
June 14, 2012
5

Since being released in 2008,
1,649 inmates, or 44.6 percent,
have returned to prison within
three years.

NMCD resources with a focus on development and expansion of evidencebased programs. If implemented, these recommendations will provide the
tools needed to properly assess programs, result in cost-savings for the
NMCD, and result in improved public safety outcomes.
KEY FINDINGS
Reducing recidivism though strategic budget development can save
millions and improve public safety. Other states have implemented
programs and policies that resulted in reductions in incarceration rates,
closing of prisons, and hundreds of millions in savings. Through the proper
delivery of proven programming, New Mexico could have similar results.
The Results First initiative has worked with New Mexico to implement a
cost benefit model. This model has the potential to be a great tool for datadriven policy decisions to cut costs and reduce recidivism.

NMCD Cost Per Day (FY10)
Cost Per Day
NMCD Public and
Private Prisons
Probation & Parole
/Community
Corrections

$92.89

$8.27

Reducing recidivism by 10 percent could save $8.3 million in prison costs
alone and reduce victimization costs by an estimated $40 million. Since
being released in 2008, 1,649 inmates, or 44.6 percent, returned to prison
within three years. On average, these inmates return within 328 days of
release. If the recidivism rate could be reduced by 10 percent (165 inmates),
the state of New Mexico could save $8.3 million given the FY10 cost per
day and the 18-month average stay of NMCD inmates. Using estimates
from national research and New Mexico conviction rates, estimated savings
to victims are estimated at $40 million.

Source: NMCD

In-House Parole Counts
278

number of inmates

290
270
250
230

The use of in-house parole (IHP) costs $10 million a year and could
undermine public safety. If inmates cannot be paroled from prison, they
will serve parole in prison, a practice called in-house parole. The number of
in-house parolees has risen since FY09 and is now at an all time high.

201

210
190

The NMCD is not well positioned to use data to inform decisions resulting
in expansion of unproven programs and reductions in evidence-based
programs. The NMCD runs more than 40 programs for prisoners, but
according to the NMCD less than a quarter of these are evidence-based.
Evidence-based programs are those that have been evaluated through
rigorous studies and have demonstrated that they reduce recidivism. Formal
evaluation of these programs is lacking. A program developed in house
called the recidivism reduction program was recommended to be expanded
to all prisons without evidence of effectiveness whereas evidence based
programming has been cut.

169

170
150

Source: NMCD

174

Reasons for in-house parole include difficulties in finding placements,
pending administrative issues, and refusal to participate in the parole
process. Approximately 40 percent of offenders on in-house parole are
listed as being hard-to-place due to insufficient community resources or
insufficient funds on the part of the inmate. Another 40 percent of offenders
on in-house parole are working through pending administrative issues which
have delayed their parole to the community including erroneous or missing
paperwork, pending parole plans and pending parole board action. Other
IHP inmates refuse to participate in the parole process or are undocumented
immigrants awaiting deportation.

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
Reducing Cost and Recidivism in the Incarceration and Supervision of Adult Offenders
June 14, 2012
6

In some cases programs are not
assigned in accordance to policy
and participation is not tracked
resulting in some prisoners
receiving credit for being at two
places at the same time.

Lack of valid assessments and poor management of prison programs
and resources inadequately prepare inmates for successful transition
into the community. States that deliver programming based on risk and
needs, that identify evidence-based policies and that redirect inefficient
spending to programs delivered with fidelity have been successful in
reducing recidivism and costs. The NMCD has room to improve in these
areas.

2nd Judicial District Drug
Court
193

Number on active supervision

9

177

180

8

8

160

7

140

6

6

120

5

5

100
4

80
85

60

FTE

200

3

40

2

20

1
0

0
FY09

FY10

Offenders

Treatment resources for sex offenders and other hard-to-place inmates are
scarce and have recently been cut back. The New Mexico Behavioral
Health Institute (BHI) operates the STOP program for the treatment of sex
offenders. The Department of Health expanded this program to 24 beds in
2003, in response to an increased demand for services. However, bed space
at the BHI is being crowded out by growing numbers of pre-trial defendants
committed to the hospital by district courts. As a result, the Department of
Health (DOH) has found it necessary to reduce STOP program beds from 24
to eight. Unless additional space is created at the BHI, treatment of sex
offenders cannot be expanded.

FY11

PPD FTE

Source: NMCD

A March 2012 amendment to the
contract between the NMCD and
Lea County reduces staffing
requirements by 32 FTE creating
$2 million in annual savings, but
per-diem rates paid to the GEO
Group Inc have not been
reduced.

The NMCD does not adequately target treatment based on risk or needs of
clients. NMCD programs are generally delivered to inmates at lower
classification levels. The NMCD mandates a process for assessing inmates
on risk and needs and assigning programming based on these assessments
but does not follow this policy. Instead prisoners can choose their own
programming, often based on the amount of good time the program awards.
In some cases programs are not assigned in accordance to policy and
participation is not tracked resulting in some prisoners receiving credit for
being at two places at the same time.
Programs proven to work in reducing recidivism have been cut by the
NMCD, have long waiting lists, and sometimes lack fidelity. Programs that
have been proven to reduce recidivism on a national level have been cut by
the NMCD, staffing provided by NMCD to the 2nd judicial district drug
court has been cut as has the number of available slots. Corrections
industries participation has dropped to a three year low while space and
resources go unused. Other programs, such as adult basic education and
cognitive programs, suffer from long waiting lists. Still other proven
programs, such as therapeutic communities are not delivered with fidelity.
Problems in delivering therapeutic communities, related to not following
best practices, were identified in a 2007 LFC report and many of these
problems remain today.
Operational inefficiencies result in $8 million a year that would be better
used on offender programming. A March 2012 amendment to the contract
between the NMCD and Lea County for the operation of the Lea County
Correctional Facility reduces staffing requirements by 32 FTE, creating $2
million in annual savings, but per-diem rates paid to the GEO Group Inc.
have not been reduced. Additionally, inmates with less than a year on their
sentences are housed at NMCD facilities instead of jails because of
sentencing or for diagnostic evaluations costing another $2 million.
Resources are also expended for low-risk inmates in New Mexico when

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
Reducing Cost and Recidivism in the Incarceration and Supervision of Adult Offenders
June 14, 2012
7

One million dollars that should
have reverted to NMCD for FY10
and FY11 overpayments is still at
OptumHealth.

other alternatives are available. The Vera Institute of Justice recognizes that
releasing some elderly inmates before the end of their sentence has a low
risk to the public and the state has a medical and geriatric parole program for
release of such individuals. However, only one inmate was released under
this program in FY11 while disabled and older inmates cost an estimated
$3.8 million in the same year.
More community-based resources are needed and existing resources
could be better used. New Mexico spends more than $34 million, or about
11 percent of the NMCD’s total budget, to supervise and provide
community-based services to more than 18 thousand offenders through a
system of parole and probation officers and through contracts with
community-based programs.

OptumHealth is collecting
interest on FY10 NMCD
overpayments that have yet to
revert to NMCD.

There is a growing national movement toward evidence-based programs
(EBP) in corrections. These are programs that employ strategies that have
been evaluated rigorously in experimental or quasi-experimental studies.
Some programs in New Mexico are evidence-based, such as drug courts and
therapeutic communities in prison. However, it is not clear how many of
New Mexico’s community treatment programs are evidence-based. The
NMCD and OptumHealth attempted to collect that information with limited
success; only 31 percent of providers responded. The Pew Center on the
States’ Public Safety Performance Project reports that evidence-based
corrections programs can reduce recidivism up to 30 percent, but programs
that are not evidence-based tend to see no decrease and even a slight
increase in crime.
Community treatment programs are not evaluated for effectiveness and
are not targeted at the neediest offenders. At this time community treatment
providers are not evaluated to determine if services are effective or if they
are delivered with fidelity. In addition, these programs tend to focus on
offenders with lower risks of recidivism and avoid riskier offenders such as
those with a history of violence or gang affiliation.
The Behavioral Health Collaborative (BHC) should recover $1 million in
overpayments for non-Medicaid services from pre-payments to
OptumHealth. The NMCD, working with the BHC, contracts with
OptumHealth to provide services. According to the NMCD the same
providers re-cycle over the years with few new entries into the provider
network. One million dollars that should have reverted to the NMCD for
FY10 and FY11 overpayments is still at OptumHealth. OptumHealth is
collecting interest on FY10 NMCD overpayments that have yet to revert to
the NMCD.

Overpayments to the single entity
(Value Options or OptumHealth)
have been occurring since FY06
and the recovery of these funds
is a continuing issue.

The Community Corrections Act (CCA) creates barriers to effective
services and needs more flexibility. Currently CCA funds may only be used
for offenders formally enrolled in Community Corrections programs. This
is problematic because not all high needs offenders are enrolled in
Community Corrections and there is a lack of clarity as to which offenders
are classified as Community Corrections. To adequately fund treatment
resources, more flexibility is required. With the advent of the BHC in New
Mexico, community advisory panels are no longer required to screen
contract providers.

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
Reducing Cost and Recidivism in the Incarceration and Supervision of Adult Offenders
June 14, 2012
8

The NMCD strategic plan cites
nationally recognized best
practices regarding standard
probation and parole caseloads
as 65 per officer.

Probation and Parole Division (PPD) officers are comparatively
underpaid, have high turnover rates, and are faced with increasing
caseloads. According to the State Personnel Office (SPO), PPD officers
earn 22 percent less than the market rate. PPD supervisors often find their
trained staff moving to higher-paid positions with local jurisdictions or with
the federal government. In FY11 turnover rates for PPD officers averaged
24 percent per year and vacancies averaged 20 percent per year.
The PPD caseloads are rising. The NMCD 2011-2012 strategic plan cites
nationally recognized best practices regarding standard probation and parole
caseloads as 65 per officer. The NMCD standard officer caseload however,
is almost double the recommended standard at 114, and is trending upward.

Average Standard Caseload per
Probation and Parole Officer
140
130

114

caesload

120
110
100

95

98

90
80
FY10

FY11

FY12 Qtr 3

Source: NMCD

There is a lack of resources for probation and parole resulting in high
caseloads and waiting lists for intensive supervision. Currently there are
more than 100 offenders on a waiting list for the Intensive Supervision
Program (ISP) creating a potential risk to public safety. ISP is a highly
structured, concentrated form of probation and parole supervision with
stringent reporting requirements and an increased emphasis on offender
monitoring, including after-hours field and home visits by Probation and
Parole Officers. Often, courts will dictate that an offender be placed on ISP,
rather than allowing the department to make that determination based on a
risk assessment. Most offenders in the ISP waiting list are instead on
standard supervision, where the average caseload is more than 100 offenders
per officer, and many offenders on the ISP waiting list have original
offenses of a violent nature. The reduced supervision that a high-risk
offender receives poses an increased risk of recidivism and a risk to public
safety.
ISP caseloads could be safely increased provided that specific criteria are
met. The NMCD would like to increase the ISP caseload from the statutory
20 cases per officer. Under specific conditions, an increased ISP caseload
could improve the current supervision of offenders, reduce waiting lists, and
move riskier offenders off standard caseloads, while providing a manageable
workload for officers. To be effective, candidates for ISP must be screened
using NMCD’s assessment tool, all ISP supervisees must be enrolled in
some type of community treatment program, each caseload must include
offenders at various phases of their ISP supervision, and electronic
monitoring must be used to extend the surveillance effectiveness of the ISP
officer.

Most offenders on the Intensive
Supervision Program waiting list
are instead on standard
supervision, where the average
caseload is more than 100
offenders per officer, and have
original offenses of a violent
nature.

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
Reducing Cost and Recidivism in the Incarceration and Supervision of Adult Offenders
June 14, 2012
9

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
FY11 Release Cohort Estimated
Prison Costs Over 15 Years

=$360 million
Cohort Total
Trips=7074

Average Stay
Per Trip=548
days

FY11
Release
Cohort
Projected
Cost=
$360 million

Average
Daily
Cost=$92.89

This evaluation has found an estimated $10 million in potential recurring,
and $1 million non-recurring cost savings, much of which could be used to
offset potential costs of increasing evidence-based programming and
research and quality control. The increased uses of evidence-base
programming and effective implementation have the potential to further
reduce costs to taxpayers and victims through reductions in recidivism.
Statutory changes will be necessary to save and repurpose funding, but the
NMCD has an opportunity to reduce costs administratively. For example,
the NMCD could reduce private prison expenses paid to Lea County by
aligning the per diem to reflect savings from reducing required staffing
levels and save an estimated $2 million (see Appendix B for breakdown of
potential savings).
•

The NMCD should form a Research and Evaluation Unit consisting of
three employees to provide a program auditing function along with a
data analysis function for the NMCD. LFC calculations estimate these
positions would be between a pay band 75 to 85 and cost $230 thousand
a year.

•

The NMCD should aim to reduce recidivism though strategic investment
by continuing to work with the LFC and the NMSC to update the
WSIPP model so that programs can be funded based on results.

•

The NMCD should pay the cost of halfway house placement for inmates
where it can be demonstrated that the inmate does not have funding to
reduce the costs of IHP. The department should also consider paying
the first few months of rent for inmates entering parole, again in
situations where it can be demonstrated that the inmate does not have
the funds.

•

The NMCD and the Parole Board should meet quarterly to study the
reasons for current administrative delays to parole and initiate
procedural reforms.

•

The NMCD should prepare an implementation plan for administering
and using COMPAS or another valid risk and needs assessment, and be
using this tool system wide by June 30, 2013 to support decisions in
program assignment. This tool should include internal policy.

•

The NMCD should accompany any cost-savings measures agreed to in
contract, such as reductions in required FTE, with measured reductions
in per-diem rates for private prisons which could provide an estimated
$2 million in savings to the state at Lea County Correctional Facility.

•

The Legislature should consider statutory changes to provide judges the
ability to sentence inmates to NMCD prison facilities only if convicts
are sentenced to one year or more after accounting for any period of the
sentence being suspended or deferred and any credit for presentence
confinement which could provide NMCD with an estimated $2 million

Source: LFC Projections based on NMCD data

FY11 Release Cohort and
Projected Returns to Prison

3440 inmates
released in
FY11
At least 52%
(1720) will
return to
prison

41% (706) will
return once

28% (490) will
return twice

16 % (275) will
return three
times

14 % (249)
will return
four or more
times
Source: LFC Projections based on NMCD data

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
Reducing Cost and Recidivism in the Incarceration and Supervision of Adult Offenders
June 14, 2012
10

in savings from eliminating D&E and intake of inmates with less than a
year on their sentence as defined in statute.
•

The Legislature should make changes to the Community Corrections
Act allowing more flexibility in the use of community corrections funds
and removing the requirements for state and local advisory panels.

•

The NMCD, the BHC and OptumHealth should work together to expand
the community-based provider network, specifically for hard to place
and high-risk inmates.

•

The NMCD in conjunction with the BHC should begin to move toward
a system of evidence-based treatment programs. The Legislature should
consider legislation that requires that most funding for community-based
corrections programs be used to fund evidence-based programs over the
course of a four year phase-in.

•

The BHC, working with the NMCD, should develop a plan to revert
appropriate excess funding from the single entity to the state. The plan
should be presented to the Legislative Finance Committee by September
of 2012.

•

The NMCD should review PPD officer salary ranges with the intent of
bringing them into line with comparable market rates as soon as
possible.

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
Reducing Cost and Recidivism in the Incarceration and Supervision of Adult Offenders
June 14, 2012
11

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world with one in every 100 citizens behind bars and
one in every 31 citizens either incarcerated or on probation or parole, according to the Pew Center on the States’
Public Safety Performance Project. In New Mexico, one in every 34 citizens is either incarcerated or on probation
or parole. Over the next several years, it is anticipated that prison populations will grow, requiring either additional
inmate beds or enhanced alternatives to incarceration.
New Mexico is facing a growth in incarceration. The New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) reports that
the average daily prison population in New Mexico increased by 2.4 percent (156 prisoners) during FY11 rising to
6,673 total inmates. The New Mexico Sentencing Commission (NMSC) estimates that New Mexico’s total
prisoner population will grow at an average rate of 0.84 percent from FY12 to FY21. At that rate, New Mexico
will reach a population of 7,208 prisoners by the end of FY21 with the male population exceeding current capacity
by FY 2019.
According to the NMCD over half of inmates released from prison will be back within five years which is an
additional incentive to seek workable strategies to reduce recidivism. Currently, 44 percent of NMCD inmates are
returning offenders with an average of three prison stays per inmate, although some offenders have had as many as
11 prison stays. In New Mexico the average length of stay in prison is 1.82 years. Since 95 percent of all inmates
in state prisons will return to their respective communities, the impact of re-entry and community corrections
policies and practice on incarceration and recidivism is vital to public safety. There is no benefit to reintroducing
inmates back into the community with unchanged criminal thinking, untreated addictions, and without educational
and vocational tools needed to succeed. In fact, it is costly, as each inmate that does not succeed will cost the state
almost $100 dollars a day to incarcerate.
The probation and parole division (PPD) is responsible for supervising over 18 thousand offenders each month on
average. Of those offenders on active supervision, the vast majority are probationers (64 percent) with fewer on
parole (6 percent) and dual supervision (5 percent). About half of those on supervision are currently employed.
Approximately 9 percent of offenders were absconders in April of 2011. According to the NMCD, approximately
10.8 percent of absconders were captured in FY11.
NMCD Percent of Parolees and Probationers April 2011
Out of State Parolees
353
2%
Out of State Probation
1658
9%

Absconders
1602
9%

Active Probationers

Intensive Supervision
357
2%

Active Dual Offenders
Active Parolees

Community Corrections
633
3%
Active Parolees
1105
6%

Absconders

Community Corrections
Active Probationers
11723
64%

Active Dual Offenders
996
5%

Intensive Supervision
Out of State Probation
Out of State Parolees

Source: NMCD

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
Reducing Cost and Recidivism in the Incarceration and Supervision of Adult Offenders
June 14, 2012
12

According to the NMCD, the success rate for parolees is about 50 percent. A success rate for probationers was not
available. The primary reason for revocation of supervision is drugs. In fact, during an LFC ride along with Los
Lunas PPD, an offender on supervision was found with drugs in his house and later submitted a urinalysis in the
Los Lunas office.
Reasons for Supervision Revocation in FY11
Reasons for Revocation
Drugs
Reporting
Alcohol
State Laws
Status
Total

Number of Offenders
766
418
350
309
226
2069

Percent of Total
37%
20%
17%
15%
11%
100%
Source: NMCD

The NMCD has two program areas responsible for community corrections, the Community Offender Management
program and the Community Corrections program. Community corrections programs are designed to be costeffective alternatives to incarceration while minimizing public risk. The purpose of the Community Offender
Management program is to provide programming and supervision to offenders on probation and parole with
emphasis on high-risk offenders. The Community Corrections program is to provide selected offenders on
probation and parole with residential and nonresidential service settings and to provide intermediate sanctions and
post-incarceration support services. These two programs comprise 16 percent of the department’s 2,500 FTE and 12
percent of the department’s $290 million budget.
The General Appropriations Act (GAA) performance measures for Community Corrections programs are limited to
the average caseload of probation and parole officers which for FY10 and FY11 has consistently been above target.
Other performance measures include turnover of parole and probation officers and percent of offenders completing
selected programs (i.e. residential treatment and halfway house programs). Performance data on successful
completion of parole or probation is not currently reported.
Beyond the obvious human costs of incarceration, the economic impact is significant. The average cost of
incarcerating an individual in New Mexico is $34,000 per year. This figure does not include the costs of the
criminal justice system, or those incurred by victims. Reducing these costs through operating efficiencies, viable
alternative policies and programs should be a high priority as some estimates put the cost of incarceration at almost
22 times the cost of probation, parole and community corrections programs.
As a result of the Governor’s Task Force, the expansion of alternative programs for diversion (e.g. drug courts) and
community corrections (e.g. halfway houses) were recommended and a Reentry and Prison Reform Division was
created but no longer exists. Other states are beginning to look at strategies for reducing prison populations and
costs. Such strategies include the addressing of offender needs based on valid assessments, obtaining assistance
from the federal government and other agencies, and investment in evidence-based practices.
Regarding evidence-based practices, there is an ever increasing body of research on program effectiveness in
reducing crime and producing savings for taxpayers. Along these lines, there is increasing interest in models for
accurately assessing the comparative costs and benefits of evidence-based community corrections programs. The
Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) has developed a model to “calculate the return on investment
to taxpayers from evidence-based prevention and intervention programs and policies.” New Mexico along with a
dozen other states is receiving technical guidance from the Results First initiative for the implementation of this
model. Through a better understanding of program effectiveness and cost benefit of investments, policy makers
can reinvest scarce criminal justice funds toward strategies that result in reduced recidivism and increased public
safety.

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
Reducing Cost and Recidivism in the Incarceration and Supervision of Adult Offenders
June 14, 2012
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FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
REDUCING RECIDIVISM THROUGH STRATEGIC INVESTMENT CAN SAVE MILLIONS AND
IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY
The New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) is appropriated $288 million per year to house,
supervise, and rehabilitate 25 thousand offenders a day. The mission of the NMCD is to provide a balanced
approach to corrections, from incarceration to community-based supervision, with training, education, rehabilitation
programs, and services that provide opportunities for offenders to successfully transition to communities. The
FY13 appropriations to the NMCD are $288 million, of which 92 percent, or $265 million, is from the general fund.
Graph 1. General Fund Appropriation to NMCD FY13
(in thousands)*
$3,170, 1%

$8,050, 3%

$27,453,
10%

$227,021, 86%

Inmate Management and Control

Community Offender Management

Community Corrections

Program Support

Source: LFC
*Corrections Industries does not receive general fund appropriations

New Mexico is facing a growing prison population that is projected to exceed capacity within the next decade. In
FY11 the average daily prison population in New Mexico increased by 2.4 percent, 156 prisoners, rising to 6,673
total inmates. The New Mexico Sentencing Commission (NMSC) estimates that New Mexico’s total prisoner
population will grow at an average rate of 0.84 percent from FY12 to FY21. At that rate, New Mexico will reach a
population of 7,208 prisoners by the end of FY21 with the male population exceeding current capacity by FY19.
The NMCD recently shifted 72 beds at the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility (WNMCF) from men’s beds
to women’s beds to alleviate the overcrowding of the New Mexico Women’s Correctional Facility (NMWCF). An
aging prison infrastructure coupled with prisoner capacity limitations in New Mexico’s prison population points to
the need for strategies such as diversion programs, front-end services and other strategies, along with enhanced
reentry and reintegration programs to reduce incarceration and recidivism.

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
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800
750
700
650
600
550
500
450
400

7000
6500
6000
5500
5000
4500

Male Population

Male Capacity

Female Population

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

4000

female prison population

male prison population

Graph 2. NM Prison Population Projections by Gender

Female Capacity

Source: NMCD and NMSC

According to the Pew Center on the States, evidence-based programs can decrease recidivism, lower costs,
and improve public safety. The implementation of evidence-based programs in states has had a number of
positive outcomes. In Washington, legislators and executive agencies identified evidence-based policies that
provided the best return on taxpayer investments. Results of this strategy include a greater improvement in crime
rates, improvement in juvenile arrest rates, an incarceration rate below the national average, and hundreds of
millions in savings per year.
The NMCD released 3,440 inmates from prison into the community in FY11. More than 95 percent of prisoners
will return to communities and the equivalent of half of the NMCD average population was released back into the
community in FY11 alone. Within three years from being released 46 percent of inmates return to prison and
within five years from being released 53 percent of New Mexico inmates return to prison. A key measure of
successful transition to the community is recidivism, defined here as return to prison within 36 months, unless
noted otherwise. According to the Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project, states where
corrections agencies are strategically improving release preparation and supervision strategies will see falling
recidivism rates. An indicator that New Mexico needs to better prepare inmates for release and revisit supervision
strategies is the recent increase in recidivism.

percent reincarcerated within 36 months

Graph 3. Percent of All Prisoners Reincarcerated To NMCD
Facilities Within 36 Months
50%
49%
48%
47%
46%
45%
44%
43%
42%
41%
40%
FY07

FY08

FY09

FY10

FY11

FY12 Q3

Source: NMCD

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
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Reducing recidivism by 10 percent could save $8.3 million in prison costs alone and could reduce victimization
costs by an estimated $40 million. Since being released in 2008, 1,649 inmates, or 44.6 percent, returned to prison
within three years. On average, these inmates return within 328 days of release. If the recidivism rate could be
reduced by 10 percent, 165 inmates, by implementing evidence-based programs in the prisons and transitional
programs in the community, New Mexico could save $8.3 million per prison stay given the FY10 cost per day and
the 18-month average stay of NMCD inmates. Using data on costs to victims from a national study prepared for the
US Department of Justice, along with conviction rates in New Mexico, the cost to victims by 165 offenders is
approximately $40 million. This includes tangible victim costs, such as health care expenses, property damage and
losses in future earnings and intangible victim costs such as jury awards for pain, suffering and lost quality of life.
The NMCD has a number of aging facilities requiring repair or replacement. The NMCD will have to start
planning new facility construction to replace on or more of their facilities. The General Services Department
(GSD) recommends replacing any building with a facility condition index (FCI), the ratio of repair costs to
replacement cost, greater than 60 percent. The 2005 facility assessment found that Central New Mexico
Correctional Facility (CNMCF), Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility (SNMCF), and Roswell Correctional
Center (RCC) were at 55.4 percent, 48.5 percent and 43.3 percent, respectively. The newest prison facility in
Clayton cost $61 million to build.
Increasing numbers of prisoners in New Mexico will cause a need for facility repair and replacement rather
than closing of facilities. In addition to several prisons approaching FCI numbers warranting replacement, repair of
facilities is a continuing financial concern. A 2007 LFC report on corrections facilities found that 20 housing units
at SNMCF and CNMCF needed about $26.8 million in repairs to extend their usefulness. Staff found that WCNMF
has some of the most serious facility problems. One housing unit is sinking and separating from an attached
structure, and the plumbing across the facility is corroding as quickly as it is repaired due to the hard water in
Grants. Modular units housing low-security inmates appear in disrepair. PCD is currently in the process of
updating the estimated repair and replacement costs for WNMCF – meaning the current repairs totaling $19.3
million might increase significantly in the near future. The population of older prison inmates is rising and the
facilities to address this need are inadequate. The 2007 LFC evaluation also identified the poor conditions of the
geriatric housing unit at CNMCF. Although these facilities have just been refurbished, they are not designed for
long-term housing or care.
Other states have successfully implemented evidence-based programs resulting in significant cost-savings.
States such as Oregon, Michigan, Texas and Washington have reduced recidivism and gained significant costsavings through implementation of evidence-based programs. Prison replacement costs have been avoided and a
number of facilities throughout these states, including a 1,100 bed prison in Texas have been closed. Through the
use of validated risk and needs assessment tools, along with requirements that correctional program funding be
contingent on evidence-based design and delivery, these states have seen reductions in incarceration rates, closing
of prisons, and hundreds of millions in savings (see Appendix C).
The NMCD is not well positioned to use data to inform decisions. The Legislature continues to provide
resources for IT improvement. The FY13 budget for the NMCD includes a $643 thousand appropriation to
upgrade the criminal management information system and migrate it into a web-based environment and add
necessary functionality. A completed IT system and a performance evaluation function would give the NMCD the
structured reporting capability it needs rather than the point-in-time retrospective capabilities it now relies on. This
leaves the NMCD dependent on other agencies and program area staff to perform data reporting. Other states as
well as agencies within New Mexico have evaluation of programs and assessments. For example, the CYFD
juvenile justice evaluation staff recently published a study on risk needs assessment in a peer-reviewed journal.
The NMCD is in talks with the New Mexico Sentencing Commission (NMSC) to perform such a task.
The NMCD reporting functions are decentralized and focus on audit or contract compliance. No centralized unit
collects data for reporting purposes, or tracks management reports. Although the NMCD has 95 reports with
recidivism in the title each was created to respond to a specific question and are not continuous management tools.
New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
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The NMCD funds more than 40 in-prison programs for prisoners, but according to the NMCD less than onequarter are evidence-based. Evidence-based programs are those that have been evaluated through rigorous studies
and have demonstrated that they reduce recidivism. According to the NMCD, less than a quarter of the programs
offered to inmates through the NMCD are evidence-based.
The NMCD rolls out programs system wide without adequate evidence that they are effective. The NMCD
developed a program called the “recidivism reduction program”. Researchers from the University of California and
Pepperdine University conducted an unpublished evaluation on the recidivism reduction program within the NMCD
and found significant effects in inmate self-esteem and employment confidence. However, the evaluation
recommended future research focus on whether these results translate into improvements in recidivism reduction.
The NMCD interpreted the results favorably and introduced the program into five prisons last year as a pilot that
will be evaluated by National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices this coming year. An alternative
is to use the program as an exit exam for inmates to determine what programs or services will need to continue on
release into the community.
The Results First initiative is supporting a model to calculate the return on investment to taxpayers from
evidence-based prevention and intervention programs and policies. The Washington State Institute for Public
Policy (WSIPP) has developed a cost-benefit analysis model that provides estimated monetary benefits, costs,
measure of risk, and return on investment based on over 27 thousand national studies. The Results First initiative is
working at least a dozen states to get the model running. Additionally, the federal Office of Management and
Budget cited the model for agencies to consider using. Results from the state of Washington are promising and
include improvement in crime rates, incarceration rates, and hundreds of millions in savings per year.
With technical assistance from the Results First initiative, the cost-benefit model was run for six programs
currently being funded in New Mexico prisons. Through the LFC’s efforts, New Mexico is one of the first states
to implement the cost-benefit model beginning at the NMCD. Data for the current model is from NMCD, the
NMSC, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Federal Bureau
of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Six prison programs were entered into the New
Mexico Results First model and outcomes were based on a cohort released from prison in 2005. The current model
has limitations but was built to err on the side of being conservative. All programs entered into the model assume
that best practices are followed in implementation which is not the case for all programs in New Mexico.
Table 1. Monetary Benefits and Costs of Evidence-Based Public Policies in New Mexico (Per Participant)

Program
Adult Education
Cognitive Behavioral
Programs
Corrections Industries
2nd Judicial District
Drug Court (Adult)
Drug Treatment In
Prison (Therapeutic
Communities)
Vocational Education
in Prison

Taxpayer
Benefits
$3,043

Total
Benefits
(Taxpayer
+ Victims)
$18,952

Costs
$627

Benefits
Minus Costs
(net present
value)
$18,325

$1,571
$1,090

Rate of
Return on
Investment
421%

Measure of
Risk (odds of
a positive net
present value)
99%

Benefit to
Cost Ratio
$30.22

$10,033
$7,080

$523
$0

$9,510
$7,080

$19.20
$7,080

278%
N/A

99%
99%

$3,285

$20,336

$3,205

$17,131

$6.35

103%

99%

$2,319

$15,371

$3,233

$12,138

$4.77

79%

99%

$2,881

$18,525

$1,171

$17,354

$15.89

234%

99%
Source: LFC

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
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Results for six of the programs represented in the New Mexico Results First model that are run by the NMCD have
been proven nationally to have a positive impact on reducing recidivism and improving public safety (see
Appendix D). These six programs show that benefits outweigh costs with differing return on investments.
Additionally, the odds of receiving total benefits that exceed costs, or a positive net present value, are almost 100
percent for the six programs. However, non-evidence-based programs, including programs designed within the
NMCD, are being funded and expanded instead of these with proven track records. For example, the following
programs have not been shown to be evidence-based nor have they been the subject of a program outcome
evaluation:
• Art Therapy
• Cage your rage (anger therapy)
• Grief and Loss
• Life 101
• Recidivism reduction
• Relaxation group
Furthermore, therapeutic communities are not being run according to best practices in New Mexico. Given that
current costs for therapeutic communities do not outweigh taxpayer benefits, it is likely that any return on
investment is limited to benefits of avoided victimizations. Similarly, therapeutic communities should result in
benefits to taxpayers and potential victims of $8.5 million, but are not run according to best practices which will be
detailed in a later chapter. According to the New Mexico Results First model, in New Mexico every drug treatment
in prison participant should result in $12 thousand in benefits over a seven-year period. The NMCD reported 702
participants at the end of 2011.
Recent decisions by the NMCD and New Mexico courts to cut beneficial programs could have a lasting impact
on cost to taxpayers and public safety. Two programs that reduce recidivism in national studies, drug courts and
corrections industries, have been cut in New Mexico in the last fiscal year resulting in an approximate loss of
benefits to taxpayers and potential victims of $2.8 million each year these cuts remain in place. According to the
New Mexico Results First model, in New Mexico every drug court participant results in $20 thousand in benefits
over a seven year period. The 2nd judicial district court recently cut its drug court capacity by 90 participants. This
cut will result in unrealized benefits to taxpayers and potential crime victims an estimated $1.8 million each year
the cuts remain in place. Even though the NMCD continues to provide between $200 thousand and $300 thousand
per year for treatment of drug court participants, staffing support has been reduced. The NMCD has no statutory
jurisdiction over these drug court participants. This raises the question as to whether total responsibility for these
programs should rest with the court.
Likewise, in New Mexico every Corrections Industries participant could result in $7,000 in benefits to taxpayers
and potential over a seven year period. The number of corrections industries employed inmates fell between FY10
and FY11 by 132 inmates and three supervising corrections staff. This cut will result in unrealized benefits to
taxpayers and potential crime victims estimated at $1 million each year the cut remains in place.

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
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Recommendations
The NMCD should form a Research and Evaluation Unit consisting of three employees to provide a program
auditing function along with a data analysis function for the NMCD. LFC calculations estimate these positions
would be between a pay band 75 to 85 and cost $230 thousand a year.
The NMCD should aim to reduce recidivism though strategic investment by continuing to work with the LFC and
the NMSC to update the New Mexico Results First model so that programs can be funded based on results.
The NMCD should provide the LFC and the NMSC with updated data for the New Mexico Results First model for
FY12 by July 1, 2013 including the following:
o Number of years of prison, parole and probation use for prisoners by most serious offense.
o The change in length of stay (in years) for each subsequent sentence.
o Updated cohorts for adult prison and supervision.
o Updated and expanded program costs and participation rates for prison and community programs.

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
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June 14, 2012
19

THE USE OF IN-HOUSE PAROLE COSTS $10 MILLION A YEAR AND COULD UNDERMINE
PUBLIC SAFETY
The number of in-house parolees is at an all time high. In most cases, inmates in New Mexico prisons are
required to serve a sentence of parole on completion of their incarceration. In a growing number of instances,
inmates are serving parole in prison. The average number of in-house parolees (IHP) has increased over the last
three fiscal years. The number of inmates on IHP in May 2012 was 278. The state of New Mexico is paying an
estimated $10 million per year to house parolees in prison.
Graph 4. In-House Parole Counts

number of Inmates

290

278

270
250
230
201

210
190
169

174

170
150
Avg FY09

Avg FY10

Avg FY11

Current (May 2012)

Source: NMCD

The number of in-house parolees is rising and could cost $10 million or more in FY12. Before a parolee can be
released from prison, Corrections Department staff creates a plan that outlines where the parolee will live, his
principal family or social connections in that community, what conditions must be met to remain on parole, and
what treatment or services that individual might need in the community. The plan is then approved or denied by the
Parole Board. In a growing number of cases, the Parole Board is unable to approve parole plans as safe or
appropriate. Many inmates simply do not have the resources or appropriate social connections in the community.
Others, such as sex offenders and those with a history of violence, are
extremely difficult to place in the community. Other reasons an individual
remains in prison including administrative issues and inmates refusing to
One hundred thirteen prisoners
participate in the parole process. As a result, the individual must serve
were discharged directly from IHP
parole in prison. Hard to place high security risk offenders are likely to
in 2011 and released back into the
discharge directly from IHP. Currently the unit housing the most IHP
community without supervision.
offenders is PNM level VI with 51 inmates.
Source: NMCD

Reasons for in-house parole include difficulties in finding placements,
pending administrative issues, and refusal to participate in the parole
process. Approximately 40 percent of offenders on in-house parole are listed as being hard-to-place. Many of
these individuals are sex offenders, gang members, or individuals with a history of violence. For these offenders,
there are insufficient community resources as many treatment programs cannot or will not provide services to
higher-risk individuals.

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
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number of inmates

Graph 5. Reasons for In-House Parole and Cost Per Day (Feb 2011)
120

$10,000

100

$8,000

80

$6,000

60

$4,000

40

$2,000

20

$0

0
Awaiting
Administrative Action

Source: NMCD

Hard To Place

Cost Per Day

Inmate Refuses to
Participate in Parole
Process

Other

Number of Inmates

However, the hard-to-place category also includes a significant number of individuals that do not have funds
required for housing or treatment programs. For example, one inmate could not be released because he did not
have money to pay for a program, and could not receive financial assistance for the program because he could not
be released.
From NMCD IHP Report: “Parole Board saw inmate on 10/31/2011. Certificates were requested but will not be
mailed out due to program not being paid for. ‘Inmate’ (name removed) applied for Eagle’s Unlimited but
program will not assist unless inmate is already residing there.”
The cost of a halfway house for non-violent offenders, however, averages $1,200 to $1,500 for 90 days, less than
the $8,000 required to house an individual in prison over the same period of time.
Another 40 percent of offenders on in-house parole are working through
pending administrative issues which have delayed their parole to the
community.
These pending issues include parole plans, parole
certificates, parole board hearings, parole board action, and parole officer
investigations. These are largely operational issues, many of which could
be resolved by the Department working in cooperation with the Parole
Board and by more efficient staffing strategies by the NMCD. By
resolving approximately 40 percent of the issues causing in-house parole,
the department could save an estimated $4 million per year (see
Appendix E for complete breakdown of reasons for IHP).

Reasons
for
IHP:
Between
January 1, 2012 and March 31,
2012, the parole board scratched
more than 70 cases from the
hearing docket due to pending
administrative
issues
and
erroneous paperwork from the
NMCD including missing parole
plan packets, pending parole plans,
or wrong case numbers.

Treatment resources for sex offenders are scarce and have recently
Source: NM Parole Board
been cut back. The Department of Health (DOH) New Mexico
Behavioral Health Institute (BHI) operates the STOP program for the
treatment of sex offenders. In response to an increased demand for
services, the Department of Health expanded this program to 24 beds in 2003. However, bed space at the BHI is
being crowded out by growing numbers of pre-trial defendants committed to the hospital by district courts across
the state. These placements mandated by Section 31-9-1.2 NMSA 1978 and Section 31-9-1.5 NMSA 1978, and
forensic patients now represent over 50 percent of the BHI population. As a result, the Department of Health
(DOH) has found it necessary to reduce the number of beds for the STOP program from 24 to eight. Unless
additional space is created at the BHI, treatment of sex offenders cannot be expanded.

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
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The enhancement of community programs is a cost effective alternative to IHP. Based on the January IHP
population of 278 inmates, and the cost per inmate per day in prison, in-house parolees could cost the state more
than $10 million in FY12. At least 10 percent of IHP inmates are sex offenders with parole terms of five to 20
years. Therefore the NMCD may have to pay the cost of IHP for 20 years. For example, the NMCD has three
inmates on IHP that are listed as having “exhausted all viable plans for sex offenders”, and these inmates have
discharge dates of 2026, 2028 and 2029. If appropriate placements through probation and parole or community
corrections were available for in-house parolees, costs could be cut significantly because the cost of most programs
and services are less than the FY10 average incarceration cost per inmate of $92.89 a day.
Table 2. NMCD Community-Based Operations FY10

Program/Service
Community Corrections
Residential Treatment Center Programs (Females) –
Los Lunas
CC Residential Treatment Center Programs (Males)
– Fort Stanton

Cumulative Average
Population

Average Annual Cost
Per Inmate

Inmate Cost/Day

881

$5,524

$15.13

54

$39,139

$107.26*

73

$16,805

$46.04*

Probation and Parole (less ISP)

11,609

$2,608

$7.15

Intensive Supervision Programs

311

$1,068

$2.93

12,388

$3,020

$8.27

PPD/Community Corrections Totals

* According to NMCD PPD: The higher rates represent figures that calculate in partial administrative cost of staff salaries, and are part of an internal record used to
estimate overall cost-per-client. Current base FY12 exact per-diem amounts without the administrative add-on are:
•
Men's Residential:
$41.22
Capacity: 55 (reduced from 84 prior to FY11)
•
Women's Residential:
$84.34
Capacity: 42 (reduced from 48 prior to FY11)
•
Women's Halfway House:
$42.61
Capacity: 12 (reduced from 17 prior to FY11)
While the matrices decreased because funding decreased, the vendor did not drop the cost of services.

Other community-based programs could provide a way to reduce in-house parole and generate overall savings for
the NMCD. For example, the NMCD contracts with two residential treatment programs (recovery academies) to
provide treatment, housing, and related services to men and women re-entering the community from prison. The
men’s program deals primarily with substance abuse while the women’s program has a component that addresses
women and their children as well as women with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues. As a
result of budget cuts, over the past several years, the men’s program has been cut from 84 to 55 beds and the
women’s program has been cut from 48 beds to 42 beds. Both programs have the capacity for expanding the
number of beds.
The expansion of non-treatment halfway houses is another potentially cost-effective mechanism for reducing inhouse parole while providing for a secure transition from prison to community. The model that allows offenders to
work or go to school during the day and return to the halfway house in the evening for meals and programming
would facilitate workable parole plans. It is likely that existing halfway houses could be expanded. The program
operates on a self-pay model with offenders paying approximately $400 per month. As mentioned above, one
barrier to placement in these facilities is the inability of the offender to pay this cost. The NMCD could pay part of
this cost as an alternative to the much higher cost of incarceration (see Table 2).
The NMCD women’s population is growing in part because of a high percentage of women being in IHP as well
as trends in juvenile populations. Referrals to the CYFD juvenile justice services have increased for girls from
32.8 percent in FY06 to 35.9 percent in FY11. One possible reason for the increase in the women’s prison
population in New Mexico can be tied to an upward trend in female juvenile crime extending into adulthood. As
women continue to recidivate as adults, more women enter the adult correctional system. However, in-house
parole also plays a role in increasing the numbers of incarcerated women. Although the women’s population
accounts for less than 10 percent of the total NMCD prison population, on average, women account for 12.4 percent
of the current IHP population. The percentage of women on IHP may decline as the NMCD continues to penalize
the private women’s prison for delays in starting the community placement process.
New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
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Recommendations
The NMCD should pay the cost of halfway house placement for inmates when it can be demonstrated that the
inmate does not have funding. The department should also consider paying the first few months of rent for inmates
entering parole, again in situations where it can be demonstrated the inmate does not have the funds.
The NMCD should explore expanding existing resources for halfway houses and residential treatment facilities to
increase the likelihood of successful offender reentry and to lower IHP numbers.
The NMCD and the Parole Board should meet quarterly and study the reasons for current administrative delays to
parole and initiate procedural reforms to ensure accurate and complete paperwork, timeliness of parole planning
and investigation, and timely parole board action including issuing of parole board certificates as a 40 percent
reduction in IHP could save the NMCD $4 million.
The NMCD should study the development of a secure halfway house, perhaps on prison grounds, for sec offenders,
those with a history of violence, and other very difficult-to-place parolees.

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
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LACK OF VALID ASSESSMENTS AND POOR MANAGEMENT OF PRISON PROGRAMS AND
RESOURCES INADEQUATELY PREPARE INMATES FOR SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION INTO THE
COMMUNITY
The NMCD does not adequately target treatment based on risk or needs of clients. According to the Pew
Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project, matching programs to offenders based on their risk level is
a key to reducing recidivism. Furthermore, research has shown that certain programs are more effective with highrisk offenders but can actually increase recidivism of low-risk offenders. For example, an intensive program in
Ohio lowered recidivism for high-risk offenders by 24 percent but raised recidivism for low-risk offenders by 18
percent. Currently, the NMCD collects data with validated risk and needs assessment tool at intake to prison, but
uses it mainly for inmate classification based on risk
to the safety and security of the inmate and facility.
Classification History: In the late 1990s violence at
To get more out of the assessment, the NMCD needs
New Mexico private prisons was drawing criticism from
to expand the results to include the needs of the
Governor Johnson who commented that he may be
inmate.
NMCD programs are generally delivered to inmates
at lower security levels and some programs are
delivered to inmates with low-risk for recidivism.
The majority of employment and treatment programs
are offered to inmates at lower classification levels
(I-III). Inmates in higher security levels (IV-VI),
who are typically higher security threats, have less
access to programming. There are established
predictors for recidivism, including criminogenic
factors, criminal history, and history of antisocial
behavior which might indicate a correlation between
security level and risk.

forced to remove inmates from prisons in Hobbs and
Santa Rosa if violence continued. Beginning in 1999
the NMCD, in partnership with a private contractor,
started researching the design of a new classification
instrument based on risk of escape and violence. Best
practices of states with existing classification
instruments based on these factors were studied,
including Colorado, Utah, and Ohio. After the riot of
August 1999 at the Santa Rosa facility, the design and
implementation of a new classification instrument was
made a high priority, resulting in today’s six-level

Research shows that programs such as cognitive behavioral therapy are significantly effective on high-risk inmates.
The NMCD provided data from a valid risk and needs assessment, the COMPAS, for inmates who have
participated in cognitive behavioral therapy programs. These data show that the majority of the participants are at
low-risk for violence and low-risk for recidivism.
NMCD’s classification system is based on safety. Inmates are evaluated on criminal background and record of
institutional behavior. The system has six levels of increased supervision with steps for each level (see Appendix
F). Some offenses or behaviors must maintain at a set level, such as keeping most validated gang members at level
IV facilities.
The NMCD mandates best practices in policy, but these practices are not followed, including evaluating risk and
needs of inmates. Governor Richardson’s Task Force on Prison Reform produced two reports and made
recommendations leading to the NMCD’s adoption of a national model, the Transition from Prisons to Community
Initiative (TCPI). The influence of this model led the NMCD to adopt policies in which staff is directed to use the
COMPAS to assess the risk and needs of inmates. This validated tool is to be used in conjunction with group
meetings involving staff members from all service areas, to prioritize goals and set programming and work
assignments. These meetings are called Transition Accountability Plans (TAP).
The NMCD has been paying for the COMPAS tool since 2008 and twice contracted for studies never conducted.
Although the money was encumbered, the NMCD did not pay Northpointe, Inc. since the studies of COMPAS were
never done. Although the COMPAS has been paid for since 2008, it is not currently being used in decisions
involving programming.
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The COMPAS is currently administered to male inmates but not female inmates and is not being used in decisions
for treatment or programming. Additionally, the TAPs do not currently occur.
Inmates “shop” for programs that have the best lump sum awards. Inmates assigned to educational, vocational or
institutional work assignments are eligible to receive up to a 15 days a month of lump sum awards (LSAs), good
time credit off the end of their sentences. Instead of delivering programming based on the risk or needs of the
inmate, many prison staff indicated that inmates seek out programming that lead to earlier release. For a time,
programs were assigned without classification hearings which are required by internal policy. Along these lines, it
is unclear how the NMCD decides how programs should reward inmates through LSAs. For example, the
therapeutic community program was recently reduced in duration to six months. However, the total lump sum
awards for completing the entire program remained 90 days, providing prisoners with a greater incentive to
participate in this program regardless of their programming needs.
The NMCD has trouble keeping track of programs participated in by inmates at some facilities resulting in
prisoners receiving credit for being at two places at the same time. A victims’ family was recently alerted that
the offender in the case was up for parole in December 2011. The family then contacted the NMCD to ensure that
the parole hearing was not being conducted too early. The NMCD revealed the offender, along with 40 to 60 other
offenders in the same facility, was erroneously enrolled in programs. In 2012 the NMCD audited this issue across
all state prisons, but results are not yet available. The decision was made to allow inmates LSAs if documentation
showing the inmate completed the program was sufficient.
At the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility, some lower security inmates were in programs or jobs that had
overlapping schedules. Rather than assigning inmates to programs at classification hearings as required in NMCD
policy, some classification officers approve program participation outside of hearings. This assigned a schedule
where programs had overlapping times and created the potential for inmates to erroneously earn good-time
deductions.
Overlapping inmate programs created a situation where inmates could
receive LSAs for programs they did not fully participate in, and could
earn good time for jobs they were not at. It is unclear how long
overlapping inmate programs existed and how widespread the problem
has been. At least two of the private prisons produce a report within
their own IT systems to ensure that overlapping of programs does not
happen. The NMCD has also reported to the LFC that they have
implemented accountability sheets for all programs to know where
inmates are at all times. Also, the NMCD has indicated that every
inmate will now be assigned to all appropriate programming with no
overlapping schedules or opportunities to erroneously earn good-time
deductions.

Avoiding
Early
Release:
Between January 1, 2012 and
March 31, 2012, the Parole Board
scratched four cases from its
docket because the inmates were
not yet eligible for parole.
Source: NM Parole Board

Programs that have been proven to work in reducing recidivism have been cut by NMCD, or the courts,
have long waiting lists, and sometimes lack fidelity. Some programs offered by the NMCD have been nationally
proven to reduce recidivism by over 10 percent (see Appendix D). Programs that have been proven to reduce
recidivism on a national level have been cut by the NMCD and the courts. For example, the NMCD cut staffing
provided to the 2nd judicial district cut which was accompanied by a cut in the number of available slots in its drug
court program. Corrections industries participation has dropped to a three year low while space and resources go
unused. Other programs, such as adult basic education serve 4,500 inmates a year and still have waiting lists of
850. Still other proven programs, such as therapeutic communities are not delivered with fidelity. This situation is
exacerbated by budget cuts that resulted in the loss of educators, corrections industries employees or therapists.
Many of these remain vacant. Problems in delivering therapeutic communities, related to not following best
practices, were identified in a 2007 LFC report and many of these problems remain today.
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The department allocates about 700 beds to therapeutic communities (TC); however, this evidence-based
practice needs improvement. According to the NMCD, 75 percent of inmates entering the prison system have a
history of drug addiction and 68 percent have drug-related crimes on their records. Historically, the NMCD has
provided TC beds for inmates classified at levels I-III, the average cost of therapeutic communities is $8.87 a day in
public facilities.
The TC completion rates for FY11 were 17.5 percent as 182 of 1,039 TC participants graduated from the program.
Additionally, TC clients receive no formal aftercare services. The low graduation rate paired with a lack of
aftercare services likely leads to program ineffectiveness indicated by a 51.6 percent recidivism rate for TC
graduates in 2011.

percent reincarcerated

100.0%

Graph 6. Percent of Prisoners Reincarcerated within 36 months
(2011)

80.0%
51.6%

60.0%

43.6%
40.0%
20.0%
0.0%
TC Graduates

NMCD

Source: NMCD

National evaluations demonstrate that TCs can significantly reduce recidivism based on meeting certain
program standards. Model TC programs can significantly reduce recidivism, according to research summarized by
the WSIPP. On average, TC programs can reduce recidivism by 5.3 percent to 6.9 percent. Effective TC programs
operate intensively for six to 12 months in a segregated housing unit, engage offenders in transitional and aftercare
services, target high-problem offenders, and use risk and needs assessments to screen for appropriate placements.

33%

35%

29%

30%
25%
20%

18%

15%
10%
5%
0%
TC/Aftercare
Completers

TC/Aftercare
Non-Completers

Treatment Category
Source: Wexler (1997)

No TC

Graph 8. California/Amity Prison TC
Treatment 12 Month Arrest Rates
Percent Arrested in 12 Months

Percent Arrested in 12 Months

Graph 7. Texas In-Prison TC Treatment 12 Month
Arrest Rates
80%

66%

70%

64%

67%

60%
50%
40%
30%

25%

20%
10%
0%
TC
TC
TC
/Aftercare Completers Dropouts

No TC

Treatment Category
Source: Simpson & Knight (1997)

The NMCD has low TC graduation rates and no formal aftercare services; both factors likely reduce program
effectiveness. Research by Texas Christian University (TCU) suggests treatment programs that include the routine
monitoring of drop-out rates provide better accountability of program functioning. A 2007 LFC evaluation found
similar shortcomings of TC programs and made recommendations that have not been implemented.

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The NMCD TC programs do not meet all national program standards for TC. For example, first the TC program
lacks a separate housing unit, as some TC units also house inmates who are not enrolled in the TC program.
Second, the TC program uses a mix of TC programming, self-help, and 12-step groups. A national evaluation
published by the National Institute of Justice expressed concern over the mixing of different treatment methods
such as these. The evaluation noted that “combination treatments have not been fully evaluated and that many
combinations may result in watered-down components, leading to less effective treatment”. Third, rather than
using risk-needs assessments to target services across all classification levels, TCs are offered only to lower
classification inmates. Many NMCD officials recognize that lower classification levels inmates likely have lower
needs for such services, whereas higher classification (IV, V and VI) inmates have the highest level of need.
Finally, the department recognized that shortening the TC program to six months could boost completion rates.
Given that the average prison length of stay is 1.8 years and that the transfer of inmates among facilities and
classification levels challenges service delivery, shortening programs could boost graduation rates. However, this
program duration is the least required by best practice it is unclear what this might do for program effectiveness.
Although 75 percent of NMCD inmates have a history of drug addiction, 11 percent of TC beds are unfilled.
Delivering treatment to inmates in need of services for drug addiction is a challenge. In the United States only one
in 10 inmates receive any form of drug treatment. The NMCD states that TC-eligible Level I and II inmates live in
a dormitory setting where the 11 percent of TC beds were unfilled, a 1 percent increase from 2010.

percent of inmates

Nationally Corrections Industries programs show promise at reducing recidivism by up to 7.8 percent,
however these programs have been cut or discontinued in New Mexico. The purpose of Corrections Industries
is to provide training and work experience opportunities for inmates, to instill a quality work ethic, to prepare them
to perform effectively in employment, and to reduce idle time of inmates while in prison. The percent of eligible
inmates employed by Corrections Industries has fallen far below the LFC recommendation of 6 percent.
Corrections Industries is run as an enterprise fund with the intention of the program to be self-sufficient. However,
expenditures have exceeded revenues since at least FY07.

10%
9%
8%
7%
6%
5%
4%
3%
2%
1%
0%

Graph 9. Percent of Eligible Inmates Employed In
Corrections Industries
7.8%
5.4%
3.3%

FY09

FY10

FY11

Source: NMCD

The WSIPP identifies corrections industries as a low-risk program that reduces recidivism and can deliver monetary
along with public safety benefits. Although institutional support jobs such as those offered at the NMCD have been
recognized as valuable, programs that offer private sector experience, fair wages, and include vocational training
have been proven to be effective more often. One potential avenue for improving correctional industries in the
NMCD is through the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program. New Mexico is one of 45 members of
the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program, but does not currently have an active program.
The Corrections Industries textiles program at the Lea County Correctional Facility (LCCF) was transferred to
the Guadalupe County Correctional Facility (GCCF) last July, however the program has not been started. The
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Corrections Industries program at the LCCF was discontinued last July and reassigned to other prisons including
the GCCF. However, the textiles facility at the GCCF remains dormant because no state employees have been
hired for Corrections Industries for this program. Also, materials such as sewing machines remain on pallets at the
LCCF awaiting pickup by the NMCD.
The NMCD Corrections Industries programs at all facilities, including the private prisons, must be overseen by
state employees, causing some prisons to go without corrections industries if those positions are vacant. Corrections
industries has a 62 percent vacancy rate and has no positions filled at five of 10 sites listed as supporting
Corrections Industries in the State Personnel Office (SPO) listing of employees. Some vacancies are likely to the
result of discontinuing programs at some facilities such as the textiles program at the LCCF. As of March 2012, 10
sites are listed as having Corrections Industries positions within prisons. According to the NMCD annual report,
seven prisons were operating programs in FY10.
Figure 1. PNM Tag Facility, April 2012
Corrections Industries equipment is unused at two prisons
and space is going unused at four prisons. More than $300
thousand of equipment was purchased for the license plate
manufacturing plant at the Penitentiary of New Mexico
(PNM) so the NMCD could resume production of license
plates for New Mexico. However, the NMCD has not created
a business plan with sufficient contingencies to convince the
Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD) or the Motor
Vehicle Division (MVD) that it can indeed produce license
plates and not negatively impact MVD’s day-to-day business.
The connecting data entry center remains idle as the
Department of Transportation (DOT) terminated its contract
and moved the operations to the University of New Mexico
(UNM). Downsized and discontinued Corrections Industries
programs results in tens of thousands of square feet of space
being unused at the CNMCF the LCCF, the PNM, and the
GCCF.
The Corrections Industries Commission does not report to
the Legislature or governor according to statutory
requirements. According to statute, the Corrections Industries
Commission is required to prepare an annual report to the
governor and Legislature containing detailed financial
statements for each enterprise in each facility, a detailed
financial statement of the fund, reasons for establishing or terminating enterprises, a summary of plans to develop
additional enterprises, the number of inmates employed in each enterprise, and the number of idle inmates available
for work at each facility.

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Operational inefficiencies result in $8 million a year
that would be better used on offender programming.
Reductions in requirements for private prison staffing
have not been met with reductions in per-diem costs at
the GEO Group Inc. prison in Hobbs. Additionally, the
NMCD continues to house prisoners that are preadjudication or prisoners sentenced to less than one year
resulting in significant costs to the state. Finally, the
parole board has not fulfilled statutory reporting
requirements on the medical and geriatric parole
program which could offer significant cost-savings.
The NMCD has collected more than $1 million in fines
from understaffing at the GEO Group Inc. prison in
Hobbs. In 2010, an LFC memorandum identified the
department’s failure to enforce financial penalties on
private prisons for vacant positions as called for in
contract. The NMCD has responded by collecting fines
for understaffing and delays in release from New
Mexico private prison operators.

Prison Industry Enhancement (PIE)
Certification Program
The Prison Industry Enhancement Certification
Program exempts state departments of
corrections from normal restrictions on the sale
of
prisoner-made goods in interstate
commerce. The PIE Certification Program was
created by Congress in 1979 to encourage
states to establish employment opportunities
for prisoners that approximate private sector
opportunities. Through the program inmates
are placed in a realistic work environment, paid
the local prevailing wage for work, and acquire
marketable skills to increase their potential for
successful rehabilitation.
Although New
Mexico is a member of this program NMCD
does not currently participate.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice

A March 2012 amendment to the contract between the
NMCD and Lea County reduces staffing requirements
by 32 FTE creating $2 million in annual savings, but
per-diem rates paid to the GEO Group Inc have not been reduced. The NMCD approved reducing the Lea
County Correctional Facility minimum staffing pattern from 325.2 FTE to 293 FTE. The LFC staff estimates
potential savings from the 32.2 eliminated FTE Using the same methodology as the 2010 LFC memorandum on the
financial penalties and estimates the NMCD could save approximately $1.9 million a year. Although the required
staffing level for the Lea County Correctional Facility was reduced by 10 percent saving the prison almost $2
million, no change in the per diem rate for prisoners was written into the contract amendment.
The courts require the department to perform diagnostic evaluations of county jail inmates even though county
jails have the capability to perform diagnostic evaluations and takes up valuable bed space costing the
Department $4.1 million since FY09. Section 31-20-3 NMSA 1978 allow district court judges to commit, for not
longer than 60-days, a felon to the department for a diagnostic and evaluation (D&E) to assist in determining the
sentence disposition: prison, deferred, or suspended sentence or probation. The department must evaluate the
prisoner and make a recommendation to the court. From FY09 to FY11 the department admitted 1,074 people for
diagnostic evaluations although diagnostic commitment is not required by statute prior to imposing sentence but it
is ordered by the court. Given the FY10 daily costs of housing prisoners at CNMCF, $58.16, and the NMWCF,
$88.79, these evaluations cost an estimated $4.1 million over the last three fiscal years and $1.5 million in FY11
alone.
The number of D&E intakes has risen over the last three fiscal years from 337 to 381. In addition to typical cost
per day care in facilities, the state also takes on the burden of paying to transport inmates to and from state facilities
adding to the cost of D&E.

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number of inmates

Graph 10. D&E Intakes by Fiscal Year (FY)
400
390
380
370
360
350
340
330
320
310
300

381

356
337

FY09

FY10

FY11

Source: NMCD

The diagnostic evaluation process has required the department to set aside 32 beds at CNMCF that could
otherwise be used for needed medium security bed space. The continuing need for the department to perform
diagnostic evaluations, rather than county jails, is based on court orders which the NMCD cannot ignore. At the
time of the statute’s creation, county jails might not have had the professional expertise to perform D&Es. Modern
jails have the same type of mental health staff as the department. Further, a 2007 NMSC study noted counties face
additional costs and the public faces additional risk as a result of transporting inmates from county facilities to
NMCD facilities for D&E and then back to county facilities. If the court orders a person to a NMCD facility for
evaluation, the department cannot deny the court’s request. To do so would cause the NMCD to be held in
contempt of court, therefore a legislative solution is required.
Having the department make recommendations on whether to commit a person to a department or contracted prison
might be a conflict of interest. Staff that performs D&Es at CNMCF and NMWCF cannot then treat or evaluate the
same inmate if they return to the department’s custody.
Prisoners with less than one year on their original sentence are processed through intake and housed at the
NMCD, even though state statute does not require the court to sentence such inmates to prison. Offenders with
more than one year on their sentence must be housed at a corrections facility after accounting for any period of the
sentence being suspended or deferred and any credit for presentence confinement unless otherwise provided by law.
The statute states that judgments should be issued accordingly. However, the NMCD is accepting prisoners with
less than one year on their sentence if court order or Judgment and Sentence order the inmate to be housed in the
NMCD. The department cannot reject the order of the court, if the court orders confinement in a NMCD facility
then it must comply with the order. As many as 2.6 percent of NMCD intakes, or 33 inmates, from 2011 were for
offenders with less than one year on their sentence costing the Department $680.5 thousand. The Department of
Finance and Administration (DFA) receives an appropriation each year for the purposes of county detention of state
prisoners. In FY13, this appropriation was $3.3 million.
The estimated cost of inmates processed through NMCD intake in 2011 with less than one year on their
sentences is $700 thousand. This cost is based on the NMCD average cost per day only and does not include any
supervision required after the offender finishes their sentence. Supervision costs can vary from a few dollars a day
to over $100 a day based on whether an offender is on parole, in ISP, or in a residential treatment program. The
average sentence for these inmates, after accounting for suspensions, deferrals, and credits, is 222 days.
New Mexico’s medical and geriatric parole program is underutilized. Recidivism rates drop as age increases.
For example, a 1998 study by Holman found that while 45 percent of offenders 18 to 29 years old returned to
prison within one year of release, only 3.2 percent of offenders 55 and older returned in the same period.

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
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Graph 11. Return to Prison within 12
Months (Age)
Percent Returning to Prison

50%

45.0%

45%
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
10%
3.2%

5%
0%
18-29

55+
Age

Source: Holman (1998)

Section 31-21-25.1 NMSA 1978 provides for approval or denial of applications by inmates for medical and
geriatric parole for low-risk geriatric, permanently incapacitated, or terminally ill inmates. According to a report by
the Vera Institute, New Mexico released 35 prisoners under medical and geriatric parole between 1999 and 2008.
According to the parole board only one inmate was released under the medical and geriatric parole program in
FY11. It is unclear why New Mexico numbers have declined. The LFC’s FY13 budget recommendation for the
NMCD identifies the early release of elderly or terminally ill inmates as a potential cost-reduction measure. The
Parole Board’s statutory responsibility to report to the Legislature and the corrections department has not occurred
in recent years and resumed in January of 2012 in response to LFC evaluator inquiry.
The number and costs of disabled and older inmates are rising. Older and disabled inmates often require special
housing for medical attention and for protection from younger inmates. National estimates of costs for inmates
who are geriatric or of high medical needs are as high as $138 thousand per year. In 2008, the Pew Center on the
States’ Public Safety Performance Project identified the average cost of an older prisoner to be $70 thousand per
year. Using this more conservative figure, medically fragile or geriatric inmates at the CNMCF cost the state $3.8
million in FY11 alone.
The average daily population in the CMU Special Needs unit at the Central New Mexico Correctional facility unit
has risen from 39 to 54 over the last three fiscal years and the unit is now at capacity.
Graph 12. CMU Special Needs Average Daily Population
60
54

Number of Inmates

55
50
45
41
40

39

35
30
FY09

FY10

FY11

Source: NMCD

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
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The qualifications in the NMCD internal policy for an inmate to be admitted into special needs housing closely
aligns with qualifications for the medical and geriatric parole program in statute. It is likely that a number of the 54
inmates housed in the special needs unit in FY11 are eligible for medical or geriatric parole. The NMCD and parole
board are somewhat limited by Section 31-21-25.1 NMSA 1978 to approving or denying applications for medical
and geriatric parole.
Recommendations
The Parole Board with the NMCD input should report on the medical and geriatric parole program applicants by
September 30, 2012.
The NMCD should prepare an implementation plan for administering and using a valid risk and needs assessment
such as the COMPAS that includes internal policy. This tool should be in place system wide by June 30, 2013 to
support decisions in program assignment.
The NMCD should work with research experts in the field of correctional substance abuse treatment to assess the
potential impact of program design deficiencies on the overall TC program’s effectiveness, including mixing of TC
inmates with non-TC inmates, mixing of treatment approaches, and failure to discharge inmates near parole dates
from TC.
The NMCD should provide the results of its program audit to the LFC by June 30, 2012.
The NMCD should develop an implementation plan for standardization of programs among prisons by December
2013.
The Adult Prisons and the Probation and Parole divisions of the NMCD should complete a plan for including a
formal aftercare component to the TC program and submit this plan to the LFC no later than December 2013. The
plan should include how the department will use existing resources as a first option by coordinating with the
NMCD Community Corrections program and the state’s behavioral health entity, OptumHealth, to provide services
to TC graduates. The plan should also include a method for tracking how many TC graduates end up using
community-based substance abuse services.
The NMCD should develop a plan for license plate manufacturing in Corrections Industries, including action steps
for the next fiscal year and a summary of communication with the Secretary of the Taxation and Revenue
Department and submit this plan to the LFC no later than September 2012 and deliver follow-up reports to the LFC
quarterly.
The Corrections Industries Commission should follow statutory guidelines in reporting to the Legislature and
governor and resume reporting in FY13.
The NMCD should accompany any cost-savings measures agreed to in contracts with private prisons, such as
reductions in required FTE, with measured reductions in per-diem rates for private prisons resulting in an estimated
cost savings of $2 million at Lea County Correctional Facility.
The Legislature should update statute to provide judges the ability to sentence inmates to NMCD prison facilities
only if convicts are sentenced to one year or more after accounting for any period of the sentence being suspended
or deferred and any credit for presentence confinement.
The Legislature should consider amending the geriatric and medical parole statute to require the NMCD to evaluate
inmates eligible for medical and geriatric parole and submit the list to the Parole Board for consideration.
New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
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MORE COMMUNITY-BASED RESOURCES ARE NEEDED AND EXISTING RESOURCES COULD BE
BETTER USED
Community-based resources need to be more effectively managed. New Mexico spends approximately $34
million, or about 11 percent of the NMCD’s total budget, to supervise and provide community-based services to
more than 18 thousand offenders through a system of parole and probation officers and through contracts with
community-based programs (see Appendix G for listing of programs and locations). However, the current network
of behavioral health and community corrections providers is insufficient to meet the needs of those re-entering the
community from prison. The numbers of providers are inadequate, providers tend not to serve those with the
greatest needs, and existing programs have no proven track record of effectiveness in reducing recidivism (Section
33-9-5 NMSA 1978 allows providers to reject the placement of inmates into their programs). As a result,
corrections officials and policy-makers lack information on where to direct financial resources. This situation is
exacerbated by an outdated and overly rigid Community Corrections Act that creates barriers to successful service
delivery. At the same time, PPD officers are underpaid, have high turnover and vacancy rates, and face increasing
caseloads.
The provider network focuses on the wrong group of offenders. Ninety-five percent of all incarcerated
individuals will return to their respective communities upon completing their sentence. Currently most community
programs cannot or will not provide services to higher risk offenders such as those with a gang affiliation, with a
history of violence or sex offenders. Instead, treatment resources are directed at lower risk offenders. National
trends in transitioning offenders from prison to the community emphasize directing resources to those individuals
with a higher risk of recidivism. The Oregon Department of Corrections for example, uses a standardized and
validated risk assessment tool to deliver services to offenders with a higher risk to recidivate
The Community Corrections Act (CCA) creates barriers to effective services and needs more flexibility. CCA
funds can be used only for offenders who are formally enrolled in Community Corrections programs. This causes a
problem in that some high needs offenders are not enrolled in Community Corrections and instead are being served
in special sex offender units, gender-specific caseloads, intensive supervision (ISP), drug courts, or special mental
health units. There is also a lack of clarity as to which offenders are classified as community corrections. For
example, in Santa Fe, sex offenders are considered to be in Community Corrections and are eligible for CCA
funding. In Las Cruces, sex offenders are not considered part of Community Corrections, and in Albuquerque,
some are and some are not. Similarly, residents in the Men’s Recovery Academy are funded through the CCA
while their counterparts in the Women’s Recovery Academy are not.
State and Local selection and review panels mandated by the Community Corrections Act are no longer needed.
The Act also calls for the operation of a Community Corrections Advisory Panel (CCAP). The Act requires a state
panel, local panels and an application review panel, which may have reached their useful life with the creation of
the Behavioral Health Collaborative. Under the Behavioral Health Collaborative, provider selection has been
assumed by the single state entity under state contract for behavioral health services, OptumHealth. Current
practice has the NMCD advising OptumHealth as to which contractors should be part of the network. Without an
RFP process, the CCAP no longer serves a role.
Decisions regarding inmate community placement, however, are instead made by corrections staff relying on the
professional expertise and knowledge of community programs throughout the state. The LSPs in Albuquerque and
Los Lunas continue to serve as advisory committees to the two recovery academies. An option for local panels is to
change their focus to community education regarding ex-inmates residing in those communities.
New Mexico can more effectively manage its community-based resources. There is a lack of providers to
adequately serve offenders returning to the community. The NMCD, working with the Behavioral Health
Collaborative (BHC), contracts with OptumHealth, the single state entity responsible for the provision of
behavioral health and certain related non-treatment services. There are approximately 32 contracted providers for
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Parole and Probation and Community Corrections offenders. According to the NMCD, the same providers seem to
re-cycle themselves over the years with few new entering the provider network. In FY09, the transition from
Value Options to OptumHealth as the single entity resulted in no additions or subtractions of vendors serving the
Community Corrections program. OptumHealth relies on the NMCD to direct them to providers with which it
should contract and does not directly engage in provider recruitment even though the contract requires it to recruit
new providers.
There is a growing national movement toward evidence-based programs (EBP) in corrections. These are
programs that employ strategies that have been evaluated rigorously in experimental or quasi-experimental studies.
Which of New Mexico’s community treatment programs are evidence-based is unclear. NMCD and OptumHealth
attempted to collect that information with limited success as only 31 percent of providers responded. The NMCD is
now implementing a process to require this information from all providers.
The Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project reports that evidence-based corrections programs
can reduce recidivism up to 30 percent, but programs that are not evidence-based tend to see no decrease and even a
slight increase in crime. More states are concluding that the programs that are successful in reducing recidivism are
those that are evidence-based. At least six states supported the implementation of EBPs for offender supervision in
2010 and a growing number of states are requiring evidence-based reentry programming. For example, in 2003
Oregon required evidence-based prevention, treatment, and intervention programs with the intent that by 2009, 75
percent of state funds be spent on evidence based programs.
Community treatment programs are not evaluated for effectiveness and general program oversight appears
limited. Neither the NMCD nor OptumHealth currently analyze program outcomes. These types of studies are
necessary to determine which programs are effective in reducing recidivism, in improving how individuals
function, and in reducing risks to public safety. They also provide the basis for determining which programs are
cost effective. OptumHealth audits are focused on provider operations and records. OptumHealth site visits are
limited in scope to financial analysis, fraud detection, contract compliance, and procedural issues. In FY10, 17
percent of providers were audited for compliance and in FY11, 29 percent were audited for compliance. One recent
audit resulted in the termination of a provider by the NMCD because of contract issues. Performance measures that
are spelled out in provider statements of work are not routinely reviewed.
Statutorily required reporting regarding of community corrections by the NMCD is not done. Reporting on
community corrections programs are required by Section 33-9-10 NMSA 1978 and this is required to be provided
to the governor and legislature on an annual basis. Reporting required by statute is to include funding awards,
program effectiveness, monitoring efforts and future recommendations regarding community corrections. Neither
evaluations of program effectiveness, monitoring efforts, nor the statutorily required reporting occur.
The Behavioral Health Collaborative should recover $1 million in FY10 and FY11 overpayments for nonMedicaid services from pre-payments to OptumHealth. One million dollars that should have reverted to the
NMCD is still at OptumHealth. OptumHealth is collecting interest on FY10 monies that have yet to revert. For at
least the last three fiscal years $2.3 million has been left on contract with the single entity for unallocated monies.
After reconciling FY10, the NMCD requested OptumHealth pay providers out of its corporate profits and
reimburse the NMCD over $400 thousand. It is unclear if any action can be taken to revert FY09 unrecovered
funds from the previous single entity, Value Options.

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Table 3. Amounts Unrecovered of NMCD Pre-Payments to the Single Entity FY09-FY11
Total Amount PrePaid to SE from PPD
and Community
Corrections Funds
$3,329,374
$6,586,189
$5,881,900
$15,797,463

Total Amount
Identified as
Overpaid
$1,977,185
$727,841
$282,310
$2,987,336

Amount Reverted or
Recovered By the
Amount
FY
Single Entity
State of NM
unrecovered
$1,263,795
FY09
VALUE OPTIONS*
$713,390
$727,841
FY10
OPTUM HEALTH
$0
$282,310
FY11
OPTUM HEALTH
$0
Total
$713,390
$2,273,946
Source: BHC, NMCD, OptumHealth
*According to the NMCD, refunds from Value Options came in the lump sums cited for FY09 and reflect multi-year refunds.

Money remaining unrecovered for FY10 and FY11 is contrary to provisions in the single entity contract (Article
6.11 F) and pre-payment for services not received is contrary state law (Section 13-1-158 NMSA 1978). The single
entity is contractually obligated to revert any and all unexpended or unencumbered funds to the appropriate
member agency by the November following the contract year. This is not occurring. The Procurement Code
requires state agencies to pay for services after certifying that the contractor has provided the services. Services
rendered by the single entity are not exempt from the procurement code, yet this practice remains a feature of the
BHC’s contract with the single entity. As pointed out in previous LFC program evaluations, to be compliant with
the Procurement Code, the state should not pre-pay for services.
The failure to recover overpayments for non-Medicaid services is a recurring problem for the NMCD, the BHC and
the single entity. In 2006, the LFC reported about $850 thousand in unspent funds from FY06. A 2007 LFC
follow-up report identified an estimated $1.7 million in FY07 in overpayments as a result of pre-payment
arrangements in the single entity contract.
Monies for PPD and Community Corrections contracts administered through OptumHealth are not targeted
efficiently. Three PPD and Community Corrections providers spent 0 percent of their contract and some nine
providers across the state spent more than they were allocated including one that spent 1,121 percent of their
contract in FY10. In January 2012, eight providers were already at more than 100 percent of their allocations for
FY12. The result of the inefficient targeting of funds results in waiting lists and a lack of services for badly needed
programs such as halfway houses. For example, in February 2012, one half-way house had 15 women and 25 men
on their waiting lists. This facility currently only has six beds for women and 15 beds for men but could expand at
the request of the NMCD if monies were allocated to its contract. This warrants further consideration by the
NMCD in light of the comparatively higher costs associated with more restrictive alternatives such as in-house
parole.
Drug courts, identified by WSIPP as an effective evidence-based practice that reduces recidivism by 10.7
percent, have been cut in New Mexico. The WSIPP identifies drug courts as a measure that reduces recidivism
and typically has a positive return on investment. The NMCD operates two drug court programs. NMCD provides
offender supervision and funds treatment contracts in the 2nd and 11th judicial district court. All other drug courts
are funded through the court district.

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Graph 13. Adult Drug Court Capacity FY10-FY11
250
200
150
100
50
0

FY10 Capacity

Source: AOC
*Identifies NMCD funded drug courts

FY11 Capacity

.

The largest drug court in the state is staffed by the NMCD and is operating at its lowest level in three years. In
FY11, the 2nd judicial district drug court supervised fewer than half of the number of offenders as the previous year.
Additionally, the number of FTEs that the NMCD dedicated to this drug court has fallen from eight in FY09 to five
in FY11, reducing this option for qualified offenders.
Graph 14. 2nd Judicial District Drug Court Supervision
Totals and FTE
200

9
177
8

8

160

7

140

6

6

120
5

5

100
4

FTE

number on active supervision

180

193

80
85
60

3

40

2

20

1

0

0
FY09

Source: NMCD

FY10

2nd Judicial District Drug Court

FY11
FTE

The 2nd judicial district drug court capacity was cut by 43 percent between FY10 and FY11, whereas all other
drug courts combined cut capacity by 14 percent. The 2nd judicial district drug court has a 3.6 percent recidivism
rate (based on reoffense of graduates in the last three years) and costs $9 a day, $84 a day less than the average
annual cost per inmate and an amount comparable to probation and parole daily costs.

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The 2nd and 11th judicial district drug courts are staffed and programs funded by the NMCD, creating
inconsistencies among the funding of state drug courts and requiring the NMCD to supervise offenders not in
NMCD custody. Approximately 90 percent of offenders in the 2nd judicial district drug court are in preadjudication and are not under the custody of the NMCD. However, because the NMCD provides staff for offender
supervision to the 2nd and 11th judicial district drug courts, these offenders are under the supervision of the NMCD.
Some New Mexico drug courts do not allow participants to receive medication-assisted treatment. Recognized
treatment modalities for opiate addiction include Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs that use
medications such as Methadone or Suboxone to facilitate substance abuse treatment. The National Association of
Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) has recently issued a resolution recognizing MAT as effective, evidence-based
practices for reducing illicit substance use, re-arrests, re-incarceration, infections and mortality. The NADCP has
asked drug courts not to impose blanket prohibitions against the use of MAT for their participants. However,
according to the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), it appears that some drug courts in New
Mexico do not allow this evidence-based practice.
Recommendations
The Legislature should consider changes to the Community Corrections Act to allow for more flexibility in the use
of community corrections funds and removing the requirements for state and local advisory panels.
The NMCD, the BHC, and OptumHealth should work together to expand the community-based provider network,
specifically for hard to place and high-risk inmates. OptumHealth should take a much more active role in
recruitment.
The NMCD should expand the number of existing beds at the men’s and women’s recovery academies.
Where possible, the NMCD should expand the number of beds at existing halfway houses and support efforts to
establish alternative/recovery facilities across the state.
In the short-term, the NMCD should recruit and contract with additional non-treatment halfway houses working
with local communities to mitigate placement issues. The placement of these facilities has traditionally been a
challenge because of local concerns. Hence, community partnerships are important.
As a longer-term solution, the NMCD should study the design and construction of a secure halfway house, located
on prison grounds, as a transitional resource for the most difficult-to-place offenders – such as sex offenders. The
Department should also consider partnering with other criminal justice agencies to build or convert existing
facilities into community re-entry (or diversion) programs.
The NMCD should coordinate the implementation of a strong system of program evaluations for community-based
programs contracting with OptumHealth based on outcomes. This should be a joint effort by NMCD and
OptumHealth. The recommended NMCD Program Evaluation unit mentioned elsewhere in this report could
coordinate this effort. In addition, regular contract audits by OptumHealth should be expanded.
The NMCD in conjunction with the BHC should begin to move toward a system of evidence-based treatment
programs. The Legislature should consider legislation that requires that most funding for community-based
corrections programs be used to fund evidence-based programs over the course of a four year phase-in. The
Legislature could require something similar to the following schedule for community-based corrections program
spending:
o By 2014, 20 percent of applicable state funds be spend on evidence-based programs
o By 2015, 40 percent of applicable state funds be spend on evidence-based programs
o By 2016, 60 percent of applicable state funds be spend on evidence-based programs
o By 2017, 80 percent of applicable state funds be spend on evidence-based programs
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NMCD should require a strong quality-assurance component in all contracts with community-based providers.
NMCD should coordinate oversight of this function with the state entity.
The NMCD and the BHC should work together with OptumHealth to better track allocation monies spent by
providers and to revert unspent funds in a timely manner.
The BHC, working with the NMCD, should develop a plan to revert appropriate excess funding from the single
entity to the state. The plan should be presented to the Legislative Finance Committee by September of 2012.
The BHC should review the New Mexico Procurement Code as well as the existing contract with OptumHealth,
with respect to unexpended funds, because of apparent conflicts and possible violations of law.
The NMCD should continue its efforts to more efficiently target the distribution of community corrections funds to
providers. Consideration should be given to expanding beds at halfway houses that are determined to be effective
by NMCD.
The NMCD should resume statutorily required reporting for community corrections in FY13.
The State Auditor should investigate the lack of reverted funds that has occurred between the single entity and the
State of New Mexico going back to FY06.
The Legislature should appropriate funds to the 2nd and 11th judicial districts for the purposes of administering
drug courts to be consistent with other drug courts in the state, and remove the responsibility NMCD. Accordingly,
NMCD resources should be redirected from this function. This includes both NMCD staff support and treatment
funding.
The AOC should continue in its educational efforts with drug courts to ensure that they have the most recent
information on medication assisted treatment of opiate addiction and to end the practice of blanket prohibitions
against this evidence-based practice.
The NMCD should begin to shift community treatment efforts to offenders with a higher risk of recidivism and
more challenging behavioral change requirements. The NMCD should focus efforts on shifting existing providers
and new programs to work with gang members, those with a history of violence, and sex offenders while
maintaining treatment resources for those with high needs for mental health and substance abuse treatment. New
providers should be recruited who are able to meet this challenge and existing providers should be encouraged to
begin to focus on more challenging offenders. Funding should be re-directed accordingly. In the long-term, it is
anticipated that treatment programs reducing recidivism will place less pressure on funding additional prison beds
and produce a corresponding savings to the state by establishing a continuum of care that begins at entry into the
prison and continues through supervised parole.

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PPD OFFICERS ARE COMPARATIVELY UNDERPAID, HAVE HIGH TURNOVER RATES, AND ARE
FACED WITH INCREASING CASELOADS.
NMCD Parole and Probation Division (PPD) officers’ compensation is lower than comparable positions in
neighboring states, in some court jurisdictions, and in federal parole and probation. According to the SPO,
PPD officers earn 22 percent less than the market rate compared to eight other states. Trained staff often moves to
higher-paid positions with local jurisdictions or to the federal government for jobs that often have fewer
requirements for field work. Turnover averages 24 percent per year and vacancies average 20 percent per year, as
pressures to increase existing PPD caseloads continue to grow, potentially degrading public safety. These
positions were not exempt from the hiring freeze or furloughs imposed upon state positions in recent years.
In 2006, the entry pay level was raised to $16 per hour however pay levels for New Mexico PPD officers still lag
behind eight other states surveyed by SPO and behind some comparable local and federal positions.
Graph 15. Probation and Parole Officer Salary Comparison
$60,000

$56,696

average salary

$55,000
$50,000
$45,212
$45,000

$43,836

$40,000
$35,419
$35,000
$30,000
PPD Officer I

Source: SPO

New Mexico

PPD Officer II
8 States Average

PPD Officers have one of the lowest compa-ratios in the state. A compa-ratio represents an employee’s salary
divided by the midpoint of the pay band where a compa-ratio of 100 percent equals the midpoint of the pay band.
The average compa-ratio of PPD officers is 83 percent, lower than the state overall pay band compa-ratio of 106
percent and the NMCD overall compa-ratio of 93 percent. High turnover rates and new employees lower this
compa-ratio.
The SPO uses $42,620 to reflect the cost of losing and replacing any employee in state government. Given the
turnover rate for PPD officers, 25 percent for PPOI and 18 percent for PPOII, the estimated cost of turnover for
parole officers was $4.3 million dollars in FY11. The turnover rate for PPD officers was twice that of the NMCD
turnover rate of 12.3 percent in FY11. To address turnover and retention rates, the NMCD instituted a 5 percent
raise for supervisory staff to encourage retention and upward mobility of probation and parole officers. As exit
interviews are often not completed, it is unclear if supervisory staff level of pay is related to turnover of supervisory
staff or PPD officers.
PPD caseloads are rising. The NMCD strategic plan cites nationally recognized best practices regarding standard
parole and probation caseloads as 65 per officer. The NMCD standard officer caseload however, is over 100 and is
trending upward. Also, the rise in specialized caseloads (e.g., gender-specific, sex offender, etc.) with restricted
numbers of offenders causes additional cases to be shifted to standard officers.

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Graph 16. Average Standard Caseload Per Probation and
Parole Officer
140

Caesload

130

114

120
110
100

95

98

90
80
FY10

FY11

FY12 Qtr 3

Source: NMCD

Additionally, local selection panels required for entry into community corrections programs are often difficult to
organize and therefore serve as barriers to the timely enrollment of offenders into community corrections programs
These standard caseloads can also include offenders from the ISP waiting list. Judges will often release individuals
to standard supervision rather than have them remain in jail awaiting inclusion in ISP caseloads. In the
Albuquerque area, the judicial system has implemented the “rocket docket.” This is a rapid and condensed period
of probation hearings that results in immediate sanctions for violations. Although useful for the judiciary and the
administration of justice, the “rocket docket” results in increased pressure on PPD standard caseloads.
There is a lack of resources for probation and parole resulting in high caseloads and waiting lists for
intensive supervision. ISP is a highly structured, concentrated form of probation and parole supervision with
stringent reporting requirements and an increased emphasis on offender monitoring, including after-hours
field/home visits by probation and parole officers. More than 100 offenders are on the waiting list for ISP. Two
offices that have ISP caseloads, one in Albuquerque and the other in Santa Fe. Section 31-21-13.1 NMSA 1978
requires that intensive supervision caseloads be limited to a maximum of 20 offenders. Most of these offenders are
on standard supervision, where the average caseload is over 100 offenders per officer, and have original offenses of
a serious nature including armed robbery, seven or more DWIs, kidnapping, armed robbery with a deadly weapon,
and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The reduced supervision that a high-risk offender receives could pose
an increased risk to public safety. By placing more individuals in ISP caseloads, higher supervision is achieved and
standard caseloads become more manageable.
ISP caseloads could be safely increased if specific criteria are met. Under specific conditions, an increased ISP
caseload could improve the current supervision of offenders while providing a manageable workload for officers.
In the 2012 Legislative Session, SB 162 attempted to increase the ISP caseload, but failed. To be effective,
candidates for ISP must be screened using the NMCD’s assessment tool, all ISP participants must be enrolled in
some type of community treatment program, each caseload must include offenders at various phases of their ISP
supervision, and electronic monitoring is needed.

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Recommendations
The NMCD should review PPD officer salary ranges with the intent of bringing them into line with comparable
market rates as soon as possible.
The NMCD should recommend In-Pay Band Salary Adjustments (IPBs) for those employees whose performance
has demonstrated placement at a higher compa-ratio.
The NMCD should require exit interviews for all exiting employees and analyze the results to inform policies to
reduce turnover.
Priority should be given to filling vacant PPD positions as soon as possible.
The Legislature should support increasing ISP caseload size stipulating that the conditions outlined below:
1. Determine the appropriate level of supervision for each offender assigned to an ISP caseload using the
Department’s risk and needs assessment tool. Offenders entering into community supervision programs are
assessed for program needs and risk of recidivism using an assessment tool developed by the University of
New Mexico. Do not automatically override this assessment making all ISP candidates “extreme.” There
are situations where an individual may have a history of violence in their distant past but are subsequently
convicted of a later drug offense. This individual may not warrant classification as an extreme risk of
recidivism.
2. Ensure that each ISP caseload has a mix of phases. Currently the Department uses a 3-phase system to
determine the number of required contacts with the officer and various other restrictions that the offender
must adhere to. Successful completion of one phase leads to enrollment in a subsequent phase with lower
restrictions and requirements. A minimum of two months per phase is required. To ensure that an
expanded ISP caseload is manageable, each officer should have a mix of cases representing different
phases.
3. National studies, (Steve Aos, Marna Miller, and Elizabeth Drake. (2006). Evidence-Based Adult
Corrections Programs: What Works and What Does Not. Olympia: Washington State Institute for Public
Policy.) have demonstrated that intensive supervision programs, by themselves, have an insignificant
impact on recidivism. However, studies have shown that ISP is more effective in reducing recidivism
when coupled with community treatment programs. Accordingly, the Department should ensure that all
those assigned to ISP are also enrolled in appropriate behavioral health programs that match their needs.
4. Electronic monitoring and other technologies are often employed in ISP caseloads to monitor compliance
with supervision conditions. Although electronic monitoring alone is considered a marginal technique for
reducing recidivism, it can be a useful support tool. The enhanced use of electronic monitoring, such as
active GPS, will facilitate case management under expanded caseloads by allowing officers a way to more
consistently and carefully scrutinize offenders and respond to violations more rapidly.

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AGENCY RESPONSES

June 8, 2012

Chairman John Arthur Smith, Chair
Luciano “Lucky” Varela, Vice Chair
Legislative Finance Committee
325 Don Gaspar, Suite 101
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

Chairman Smith and Vice-chair Varela,
Below are the New Mexico Corrections Department’s (NMCD) responses to the Legislative Finance Committee
(LFC) staff review on methods to safely reduce recidivism and increase efficiency in our functions. Clearly, these
are challenging times and our communities are looking to both its executive and legislative leadership for guidance.
This is why we accept our responsibility to be forward thinking and prepare for the weeks, months, and years
ahead. We see this responsibility as even more critical than the past. Accordingly, we see great value in our recent
work together as governing bodies to assure that we have the collective courage to avoid limiting the role of
corrections to a simple reactionary posture. Our courage to shift our thinking from more traditional inward thinking
paradigm to more outward and innovative thinking may best be demonstrated in this study, as well as our
investment of over $25 thousand in staff resources to support our partnering LFC research staff in their work from
December 2011 through May 2012.
As such, we see our experiences together in this study as a collaborative partnership and a most certain opportunity
to grow together in our service to the people of New Mexico. Accordingly, it is the collective efforts of both the
NMCD and LFC have produced this report. Its contents provide meaningful information to support the vision and
purpose of our organization and therefore influence the decisions and priorities of staff in addressing the numerous
challenges we will face in public safety. While many of the issues presented in the report were previously
identified and diagnosed by NMCD staff, the report well focuses on the important tasks and impact of incarceration
and recidivism on both the safety of our citizens and our resources as a State. The report clearly articulates the
challenges the NMCD must overcome to successfully prepare for increases in incarceration through implementation
of forward thinking recidivism reduction programs and initiatives.

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As reported during the budget hearings last year for FY13, the State continues to face the threats of an increasing
female inmate population, an aging correctional infrastructure, significant prison staff vacancies, overstretched
community supervision caseloads, difficulty recruiting staff based on disparate rates of compensation when
compared to other jurisdictions, and a burning need to change the organizational culture from its traditional inward
nature to a proactive forward looking posture. While the NMCD was very fortunate to receive additional support
for a budget increase in FY13 for its day-to-day operations, we have not waited to start our work.
Having observed the aforementioned demographic change in our female population, in FY12, we partnered with the
New Mexico Sentencing Commission to study the reasons our female population is increasing. That report is
almost complete and will serve to better inform us all in confronting and managing the change. Staff have, and will
continue to be hired, with relevant subject matter expertise to both fuel and sustain the necessary transformative
changes with an eye toward the future. Because we recognize our staff as our most valuable resource at our
disposal, under the leadership of our new Academy Director, our succession planning shall be multidimensional,
involving their access to standardized training, based on the most recent and relevant best practices. The future of
our functioning will hinge on the quality of our organization’s leadership. Accordingly, leadership education and
testing will be prerequisite to promotion, to essentially grow our own leaders and assure the succession of a capable
and ready workforce.
Systemically, we have been working with the State Personnel Office (SPO) to assertively fill staff vacancies within
our Adult Prisons and Probation and Parole Divisions with qualified, talented and purpose-driven staff.
Consequently, with the support of SPO, we have implemented an open recruitment for correctional and probation
and parole officers. This work has yielded meaningful results. Having graduated over 80 cadets since December
2011, we have experienced double-digit staffing vacancy reductions in many of our prisons. While promising, there
is much more progress to be made in this area. As such, we will continue to conduct uninterrupted, back-to-back
academies in Santa Fe while pursuing partnerships with other organizations in the state where we continue to
sustain recruitment challenges. We have also implemented a vigorous staff retention plan in an effort to stabilize
the existing workforce. Because compensation continues to serve as a detractor for both recruitment and staff career
satisfaction, we will continue to work with the executive and legislature to prioritize our future revenues to address
this issue. More immediately, we are working on in-band pay adjustments for all probation and parole officer
classifications to tactically and more readily address our retention issues of staff supervising offenders in our
neighborhoods.
The caseloads of our probation and parole officers have been reduced to an average of 113 cases per officer, down
slightly from last November’s average of 120 per officer. During the 2012 Legislative Session, Senate Bill 162
(Probation Officer Maximum Caseload) was introduced to increase the maximum intensive supervision caseload
from 20, as mandated in Section 31-21-13.1 NMSA 1978, to 40 cases per officer. As the report clearly indicates,
while the statute was appropriate for the era in which it was enacted, with the advent of technology and more
refined business models and best practices since that time, the statute now serves as a detriment to meaningful
supervision of both high risk and medium risk offenders, not only challenging the overstretched resources of the
Probation and Parole Division, but also the safety and security of our neighborhoods. The optimal approach would
be to allow the department’s Probation and Parole Division the flexibility to manage its caseload based on risk,
needs and services. In the 2013 Legislative Session, the NMCD will use the objective conclusions of this report in
creating a more accurate understanding of the positive public safety impact of this statutory amendment for our law
makers. Accordingly, we respectfully request the support of your members in this undertaking.
Since last fall, we undertook a more comprehensive assessment of the physical security of our prison facilities.
Working in partnership with the General Services Department, we are contracting with a security expert to fully
assess our security needs, including the cost of comprehensively addressing our weaknesses or deficiencies and
creating greater statewide fidelity of our security systems.
Understanding our responsibility as stewards of our State’s existing revenues, we continue to work with all our
private partners to correct deficiencies we detect in their contractual obligations to the people of New Mexico. As
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deficiencies are detected, we will respect the value of our private partners, while assuring appropriate incentive for
corrective action, when clear violations exist that may otherwise threaten the safety of our state or misappropriate
its revenues. Based on this philosophical shift toward accountability, we have started a more vigorous Inspector
General and Internal Audit systems approach. Building upon both its operational and reporting structures, we have
partnered with the Taxation and Revenue Department to assume a similar composition and embrace many of the
attributes of its most excellent and successful model. Accordingly, while we see great value in our continued
partnership with the American Correctional Association (ACA), our new model shall require more vigorous
auditing and inspection of security, facility services, inmate programs, inmate records and finance and accounting
on an ongoing cycle, as opposed to the three (3) year audit cycle traditionally followed by our organization under
the ACA model. Since our last meeting, we have partnered with the State of Arizona to adopt a web-based auditing
and prison management application known as the Green, Amber, Red (GAR) Tool, whereby audit deficiencies may
be monitored proactively and on a “real-time” basis. The GAR Tool, combined with monthly unannounced public
facility inspections of an Inspector General team, monthly contract monitoring audits by private facility contract
monitors, as well as a minimum of annual comprehensive inspections and audits, will make up a new multi-tiered
and more accountable approach. More importantly, our standards and outcomes will become repetitive and
habitual, allowing for better security and functioning, as well as readiness for an ACA audit at any given moment,
thus creating excellence as a clear expectation.
Based on both our legal duty and ethical purpose to provide inmates medical care, through the diligent work of staff
and many external volunteer assessment team members, we now have a new four (4) year medical contract that
should save the state approximately $13 million over the previous contract. Unlike our previous contract, this new
contract includes performance measurements for any built-in consumer price index (CPI) increases and provides for
a penalty schedule for staffing breaches by the vendor. To assure professional and adequate oversight of both the
delivery of quality medical services and our business responsibilities, our former health services model has been
redesigned to now have the oversight of a health services administrator.
The Department will continue to seek creative solutions to managing inmate and offender populations entrusted to
our supervision. Specifically relating to the management of the number of medically fragile and elderly inmates
within our prison facilities, we remain diligent in our understanding that our prison population does not age in the
same manner as the non-incarcerated population. Based on the higher risk behaviors and lifestyles of those who are
remanded to our custody, they suffer a greater exposure and rate of chronic or contagious diseases. Although
current statute allows for the Department to directly make medical parole recommendations, forward inmate or
inmate family applications, or both to the Parole Board, ultimately the decision to accept or reject the application or
recommendation by statute resides with the Parole Board. The Department will continue to follow the statute as it
pertains to medical and geriatric parole. We also remain reminded that the issue and concerns of our Parole Board
for elderly inmates are frequently similar to that of any other parole condition, in that an inmate must have a safe
and suitable place in which to parole.
The Corrections Department clearly accepts and embraces the understanding that it must breakdown its
organizational “silos”. Accordingly, the organization fully accepts its responsibility to build a cohesive and higher
functioning workforce to adequately and successfully deliver the necessary balance of social control and social
support required for optimum public safety. Nationally, it is recognized that successful transition from prison to
community requires an accountability model that starts with a relevant and defensible assessment of an offender’s
risk and needs when he/she enters the prison system. More importantly, and what is easily overlooked is the
requirement that the transition process continue from this point through the duration of confinement, into release
from the institution and after discharge from supervised parole, with continuity and fidelity. Such a model, while
offering the greatest promise for public safety, will require that the NMCD not only work closely with agencies that
provide health, human services, work-related services, and housing, but implement education and programs
couched in the more recent and relevant research proven to work. Accordingly, with the statewide implementation
of our Offender Management Program module, we will not only be able to measure program fidelity, but also
assure repetitive appropriate return for the investments we make in any of these programs. The initiative will likely
require us to amend or add training for correctional and probation and parole staff, especially those in reception to
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ensure that offenders are properly assessed so that a specific plan is created for each offender and then used
throughout incarceration and release.
The Department had recognized its lack of standardization and fidelity with how education and skills programming
is delivered, as well as how inmates earn good time relating to their participation in such programs. Prior to the
onset of this study, we had began planning and implementation of appropriate corrective action. In a statewide audit
of these processes, our staff found deficiencies with scheduling inmate programs, inmates “shopping” for the
programs that offered the greatest amount of lump sum awards instead of programs that best addressed their needs,
too many programs created without clearly articulated reasons or program efficacy, and insufficient vocational
training and corrections industry programs. These deficiencies and the Department’s early recognition and
acceptance of the national model as a way to bring needed improvements to corrections, led the way for Governor
Martinez’s creation of the Criminal Recidivism Reduction Taskforce and the requirement of staff to compile a
matrix of programs currently at each prison as our starting point toward standardizing programs among prisons.
With the information contained in the LFC staff report, we have examples of programs considered evidence-based
by national experts, which will assist staff in singling out those from the inventory. We can now begin to assess
program implementation based on best practices and determine if it is necessary to make modifications based on
New Mexico’s cultural diversity.
In a creative attempt to address the growing threat of those inmates who are eligible for parole, but are experiencing
difficulty achieving an acceptable parole plan for release (commonly referred to as in-house parolees – IHP), our
staff have recently opened discussion with Otero County on possibly providing housing for hard-to-place sex
offenders at a reduced daily rate. While discussions are in their early stages, the model pursued will provide
continuous programming and therapy for these inmates at a cost lower than what we are currently experiencing in
our public prison facilities. Because these offenders will ultimately be released back into our community but, at the
same time, the nature of their offenses place them at a lowered probability for release than other offenders,
exposure to repetitive programming and support while incarcerated may result in a better prepared offender, when
they ultimately reach the lawful end of their sentence.
Recognizing the necessity of partnering with your committee and all lawmakers to achieve appropriate change, we
will seek to open future dialog with the legislative and executive branches concerning the current requirements of
the Community Corrections Act. The Act currently allows service providers to reject inmates, even if they have
available space, hence forcing the Department to keep hard-to-place inmates on in-house parole. Additionally, the
Act creates several panels whose useful life may have functionally ended, based on the work models of today.
Armed with the understood reality that upwards of 96 percent of all inmates will ultimately return to our
neighborhoods, an alternative for discussion may be the creation of community-based options for ex-inmates.
Before the onset of this study, the Department recognized that many of our internal processes require reengineering for improved efficiency, and accountability, including our contractual relationship with OptumHealth
Care. Accordingly, we will explore either reclassifying one (1) vacant finance position into one dedicated to
contract monitoring, or in the alternative, partner one of our finance employees with a Probation and Parole
Division program manager to monthly or quarterly review and reconcile provider allocations. Either option will
allow the Department to potentially expand services through existing or additional providers. We must not wait
two years to reconcile accounts and attempt to settle differences.
Recently executive corrections department staff visited the Corrections Industries (CI) program in Colorado to gain
a better understanding of their programs and inspire a more informed and creative approach to our business
planning in this area. With an understanding that inmate success is based on our ability to provide a continuum of
care from the time an inmate enters our facility through release from supervision, we recognized that CI is a key
player in reducing inmate idleness and providing transferable skills and occupational ethics upon release.
Therefore, our staff is committed to reviewing educational and work programs and ensuring synergy between the
two. Moreover, the vocational education and CI programs need to mirror the needs of our local communities.
Accordingly, the Corrections Department is partnering with University of New Mexico and Central New Mexico
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Community College professors on an initial assessment that will lead into a partnership with UNM Anderson
School of Management to assist staff in developing a viable, forward-looking business plan for our CI Program.
Regarding the continued concern for our aging infrastructure, the condition and ages of facilities will continue to
present challenges to the Department and the State of New Mexico. Over the past several years, with the
Legislature’s help, we have addressed significant deficiencies at several of our facilities, which have added to the
useful life of many of our facilities. As we plan our future, we will endeavor to be even more intelligently led in
our planning, not only taking into consideration the results of the 2005 facility condition index for each of our
buildings, but also newer, more innovative, secure and cost effective designs, as well. The Department has met with
the General Services Department, Property Control Division regarding our aging facilities and remains committed
to an updated and complete facility assessment, allowing us more recent and relevant facts to build a more
comprehensive master plan on which to make future decisions.
Well designed and developed technology is viewed as a potential force multiplier for the Department, allowing staff
to move away from a paper laden environment and antiquated business models. As such, the NMCD recognizes
that vital technology upgrades will be required to address greater use of technology to off-set the effects of a likely
sustained decline in our economy. Simply put, technology will play an integral role in the Department’s ability to
achieve greater efficiencies and accountability. The Criminal Management Information System is the Department’s
primary and critical system for offender tracking and management. It serves our organization, our statewide law
enforcement partners, as well as our State’s court system in their relative functions and public safety decision
making. This year we are embarking on the migration of existing modules to a single information technology
platform, bringing efficiencies to our IT application development and maintenance staff. As previously mentioned,
we are also implementing new functionality to bring more accountability to inmate programming and scheduling.
In summary, assessing the subtleties of how to best work with forensic populations can be a confounding task for
any evaluator, whether working within the system or approaching it from the outside, as the case with this study. A
relative truism is that there are multiple levels of complexity – some contradictory and some overlapping – that
need to be considered to get an accurate picture of tall matters that may be lauded, as well as any other areas of
growth that warrant attention. This study represents both, while underscoring the value of Government
collaboration in the delivery of its services.
New Mexico itself is variegated in its population, essentially a mix of cultures, traditions, and lifestyles that make it
unique among other states in our nation. Moreover, our State is also a mix of multiple subcultures, with their own
set of norms that make New Mexico truly enriched and meaningful. As we collectively look to the rest of the nation
to identify “best practices” or “evidence-based practices” to streamline our prison system and hopefully produce
proven and cost-effective outcomes, we should not forget the particular challenges of our heritage that make us
unique as a State. Many best practices were originally studied in other parts of the country and may bear results
unique to their test sites. It is, then, reasonable to pilot best practices in New Mexico, but also realize at the same
time that our programs may require subtle adjustment to the needs of our citizens. Recently, a well respected Native
American social scientist, speaking about Native populations that have been ill-studied in terms of social
innovations, suggested that “evidence-based practices” were not the only lens though which to view a treatment or
recovery paradigm. Alternatively, this researcher suggested that “practice-based evidence” may carry just as much
weight in how to look at these matters. In this regard, we must commit to remain open minded to the subtleties of a
variety of culturally accepted therapies.
Additionally, many practitioners hold that it is the nature of the relationship between the patient and counselor that
creates true healing and meaningful behavioral change. Accordingly, what one counselor says in the course of a
therapy may not have the same import of the trust and bond as another. Consequently we should also keep in mind
that what is considered a best practice today may not be so in the future. This approach is not suggested to avoid the
value of our current and relevant literature, but suggested rather, as a means of preserving a watchful eye on our
local successes and failures.
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In closing, while we must, and shall, continue to grow as an organization, it is our respectful request that we not
lose sight that our State’s correctional system has also evolved over the last 3 decades. On the other hand, the
delivery of public safety service is as challenging as we have ever seen it. Quite frankly, to many in its leadership,
at times it seems overwhelming. At the same time, collectively, we know the discomfort of a periodic objective
look at ourselves tends to bring out the best in New Mexicans. The literal history of the NMCD demonstrates that
our more innovative thinking about social problems and their prevention have emerged from our willingness to
embrace controversy and change, when it would be otherwise more comfortable to resist it. Accordingly, the men
and women of the NMCD will use the results of this study and our continued collaboration and partnership with the
LFC to rise to the challenges of our future together. We are grateful to the evaluation team and all the members of
your committee for their commitment to making the NMCD and its commitment to the safety and well-being of our
citizens, the very best!

Respectfully Submitted,

Gregg Marcantel
Secretary of Corrections
State of New Mexico

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APPENDIX A: EVALUATION SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
Evaluation Objectives.
This evaluation assesses what investments could be made to reduce recidivism in a safe manner. The
evaluation will also identify program gaps and will recommend possible additions to New Mexico’s array of
services with a particular emphasis on probation and parole programs. The study will utilize the Washington
State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) model for calculating the return on investment from evidence-based
prevention and intervention programs and policies.
Objective 1: Assess the costs and effectiveness of community-based corrections, including probation and
parole supervision, on improving safety, increasing successful completion of probation and reducing
recidivism.
Objective 2: Review the status of the department’s re-entry and prison reform efforts and collect baseline
information to monitor the initiatives progress over time.
Objective 3: Conduct cost-benefit analysis of existing or potential evidenced-based criminal justice programs,
and impact on prison spending.
Scope and Methodology.
• Catalogued existing adult community corrections programs in NM and other states
• Identified evidence-based programs
• Met with LFC director, program evaluation staff management, and fiscal analyst for NMCD
• Met with New Mexico Sentencing Commission and associated Institute for Social Research staff to
determine data availability.
• Interviewed key NMCD staff
• Conducted site visits to selected Probation and Parole offices, and Prison Institutions
• Conducted “ride along” with probation and parole officers
• Collaborated with Results First, a project of the Pew Center on the States and the John D. and Catherine T.
MacArthur Foundation for technical assistance implementing the New Mexico Results First cost/benefit
analysis model.
• Reviewed strategic, monitoring and reporting documents, including performance reports, internal/external
audits, and budget status reports.
• Performed data analysis of program cost, performance, and outcomes.
• Reviewed national best practices and other states for budgeting and performance monitoring systems and
measures and delivery of evidence-based programs.
• Reviewed:
• Applicable laws and regulations
• LFC file documents, including all available project documents
• Relevant performance reviews from other states
• Performance measures
• Other relevant literature
Evaluation Team.
• Jon Courtney, Program Evaluator, Project Lead
• Jack Evans, Program Evaluator
Authority for Evaluation. LFC is authorized under the provisions of Section 2-5-3 NMSA 1978 to examine
laws governing the finances and operations of departments, agencies, and institutions of New Mexico and all of
its political subdivisions; the effects of laws on the proper functioning of these governmental units; and the
policies and costs. LFC is also authorized to make recommendations for change to the Legislature. In
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furtherance of its statutory responsibility, LFC may conduct inquiries into specific transactions affecting the
operating policies and cost of governmental units and their compliance with state laws.
Exit Conferences. The contents of this report were discussed with the NMCD on May 31, 2012.
Report Distribution. This report is intended for the information of the Office of the Governor; the New
Mexico Corrections Department; Office of the State Auditor; and the Legislative Finance Committee. This
restriction is not intended to limit distribution of this report, which is a matter of public record.

Charles Sallee
Deputy Director for Program Evaluation

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APPENDIX B: POTENTIAL NMCD COST SAVINGS

Identified Cost Savings
Aligning the per diem to reflect savings from
reducing required staffing levels
Reducing IHP levels
Recovering money left on contract with
OptumHealth
Eliminating the practice of D&E at NMCD
Eliminating the practice of housing inmates with
less than one year on their sentence as defined
in statute

Using the medical and geriatric parole program
Total Cost Savings

Amount of potential cost savings

Agency Responsible for Implementing
Recommendation

$2 million a year
$4 million a year based on a 40 percent
reduction

NMCD

$1 million for FY10 and FY11
$1.5 million estimated for FY12

BHC and NMCD
Legislature

$700 thousand estimated for FY12
$2 million a year estimated based on a
50 percent reduction in the medical and
geriatric population at NMCD
$11 million

Legislature
Parole Board and NMCD. Statutory changes
by the Legislature could also increase
likelihood of participation.

NMCD, Private Prisons, and Parole Board

Source: LFC

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APPENDIX C: EVIDENCE-BASED IMPLEMENTATION IN OTHER STATES
Oregon. Oregon is a national leader in reducing recidivism. From 1999 to 2004, the state saw recidivism rates drop
almost 32 percent. For offenders released in 2004, Oregon has the lowest overall recidivism rate among 41
reporting states of 22.8 percent. This success rate is the result of a comprehensive reform both in prison and in
community corrections. In prison, inmates receive risk and needs assessment at intake, targeted case management
and focused transition planning. Upon release to the community, treatment programs for offenders are based on
research and are subject to program outcome evaluation. The growth of evidence-based programs stems from the
passage in 2003 of SB 267, which required that any correctional program receiving state funding be evidence-based
– both in design and in delivery.
Michigan. Through the use of a validated risk and needs assessment tool (COMPAS), along with policy changes
which reduced supervision revocations and increased compassionate medical release, the state of Michigan reduced
its prison population by eight percent. Additionally the prison system expanded evidence-based programming and
services. The return to prison rate among offenders who received re-entry services in Michigan declined by 32
percent. Between FY2002 and FY2009 the state of Michigan closed numerous correctional facilities resulting in a
total bed reduction of 12,187 and an estimated cost-savings of $339 million.
Texas. The state of Texas, through its Justice Reinvestment Initiative, is successfully re-directing funding to expand
the capacity of treatment programs and residential facilities to address community corrections needs at a net savings
to the state. As a result, Texas has averted the need to build new prisons and recently closed a 1,100 bed prison.
The success of this approach is influencing policy makers in other states.
Washington. In 2005, the state of Washington predicted the need for two new prisons by 2020. In response, the
Washington Legislature initiated a study of evidence-based programs to reduce crime, while saving taxpayers
money. The study concluded that some programs—such as intensive supervision treatment, cognitive-behavioral
therapy, community-based drug treatment and adult drug courts—can reduce crime rates while also reducing the
cost of corrections. As a result of this study, the 2007 Legislature invested in the expansion of evidence-based
programs, and the prison forecast was adjusted downward. Washington now has an incarceration rate lower than
the national average and an estimated savings of $1.3 billion per two-year budget cycle and has closed an adult
prison and juvenile detention facility.

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APPENDIX D: NATIONAL RECIDIVISM REDUCTION FOR PROGRAM TYPES
Program Type
Recidivism Reduction
Programs for drug-involved offenders
Adult drug courts
-10.7%
In-Prison “therapeutic communities” with
community aftercare
-6.9%
In-Prison “therapeutic communities” without
community aftercare
-5.3%
Cognitive-behavioral drug treatment in prison
-6.8%
Drug treatment in the community
-12.4%
Programs for the general offender
population
General and specific cognitive-behavioral
treatment programs
-8.2%
Programs for domestic violence offenders
Education/cognitive behavioral treatment for
domestic violence offenders
0.0%
Programs for sex offenders
Psychotherapy for sex offenders
0.0%
Cognitive-behavioral treatment in prison for
sex offenders
-14.9%
Cognitive-behavioral treatment for low-risk sex
offenders on probation
-31.2%
Behavioral therapy for sex offenders
0.0%
Intermediate sanctions/Supervision programs
Intensive supervision: surveillance-oriented
programs
0.0%
Intensive supervision: treatment-oriented
programs
-21.9%
Adult boot camps
0.0%
Electronic monitoring
0.0%
Restorative justice programs for lower-risk
adult offenders
0.0%
Work and education programs for the general offender population
Correctional Industries
-7.8%
Basic adult education programs
-5.1%
Employment training and job assistance in the
community
-4.8%
Vocational education in prison
-12.6%

Number of studies
supporting finding
56
6
7
8
5

25

9
3
5
6
2

24
10
22
12
6
4
7
16
3

Source: Washington State Institute for Public Policy (2006)

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APPENDIX E: BREAKDOWN OF REASONS FOR IN-HOUSE PAROLE

Categories

Awaiting
Administrative
Action (1)

Pending out of state plan

9 (2 are female)

Parole certificates pending

16 (1 is female)

Scheduled to see the parole board
Parole board action required

Hard To Place

Inmate Refuses to
Participate in
Parole Process

Other

13 (3 are female)
4

Parole plan submitted/PPCO pending approval or denial

25 (11 are female)

Classification needs new plan/follow up

35 (11 are female)

Hard to place (housing assistance)

36

Hard to place serious mental/medical illness

12

Sex Offenders

42 (2 are female)

Hard to place substance abuse program required

1

Hard to place Ice detainers/other detainers

5

Inmate refuse to participate in the parole process

29 (1 is female)

Inmate ready to release/waiting for date

2

Legal issues/new charges/amended J&S/recent misconducts

4

Awaiting program bed

8

Total
(1)

102

96

Administrative Action could be at the Parole Board, the NMCD, or the Private Prison Contractor.

29

14
Source: NMCD

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APPENDIX F: NMCD CLASSIFICATION CUSTODY LEVELS (I-VI)
•

•

•

•

•

•

Level I Custody, General Population Assignment:
o Criminal background and record of institutional behavior indicate the ability to function
appropriately and productively among staff and other inmates without the need for continuous staff
supervision or a security perimeter (to include double fences with razor wire, armed towers and
armed vehicle patrol).
Level II Custody, General Population Assignment:
o Criminal background and record of institutional behavior indicate that the inmate can function
among staff and other inmates in a dormitory setting without presenting a significant risk to the
safe, secure and orderly operation of the institution. There must be no history of recent violent
incidents or recent escapes.
Level III Custody, General Population Assignment:
o Criminal background and record of institutional behavior indicate that the inmate requires
placement within the confines of the security fences and armed vehicle patrols. Has the ability to
function among other inmates in general population under staff supervision without posing a threat
to the safety of other inmates, staff or to the security of the institution.
Level IV Custody, General Population Assignment:
o Criminal background and institutional behavior indicate that the inmate requires the need for
continued staff supervision and observation within the confines of the security fences and armed
vehicle patrols. Has the ability to function in general population, but due to previous behavior
and/or criminal background including validation or suspected member of a Security Threat Group
has the potential for actions that may threaten the security of the institution. Inmate movement is
limited to small groups (up to 16 inmates) and inmates are placed under escort during any
movement or group activity.
Level V Status, Special Management Assignment:
o Institutional behavior indicates the inability to function in general population because the inmate
poses a threat to the safety of staff, other inmates or to the security of the institution. Requires
separation from the general population with limited movement and activities under escort. Inmates
in this status will progress to a general population facility.
Level VI Status, Special Management Assignment:
o Institutional behavior threatens the security of the institution requiring separation from the general
population. This behavior includes, but is not limited to, assault, escape, murder, inciting riots and
planning or participating in security threat group activities. This behavior poses a high-risk and
inmates are not allowed to congregate with other inmates. Inmates may only be moved outside of
their assigned cell with full restraints with an escorting officer.

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APPENDIX G: NMCD COMMUNITY FUNDED SERVICE PROVIDERS
Currently Funded Programs
A New Awakening Inc (MH) and (SA)
Border Area Mental Health Services Inc
Canyon Light
Carlsbad Mental Health Center Inc
Castenell, Michael L.
Connections Inc
Cornerstone Counseling
Counseling Associates
Family Connections
Forensic Therapy Services
Guidance Center of Lea County Inc

Location
Albuquerque
Silver City
Alamagordo
Carlsbad
Farmington
Gallup
Farmington
Roswell
Grants
Albuquerque
Hobbs

Human Resources Dev Assoc Inc

Espanola, Las Vegas,
Raton, and Taos

La Buena Vida Inc

Bernalillo, Los Lunas,
and Rio Rancho

Mental Health Resources Inc
NAVA Drug and Alcohol
Partners in Wellness

Clovis, Portales, and
Tucumcari
Deming and Las Cruces
Albuquerque

Paso Nuevo Counseling (William
Chambreau)
Presbyterian Medical Services
Santisvan, Ernesto and Vincent, Jim
Socorro Mental Health
Southwest Counseling Center Inc
TeamBuilders Counseling Services Inc
The Counseling Center
The Life Link
UNM - ASAP and Mental Health Center
UNM - ASAP
Dismus House
Eagles Unlimited
La Posada

Albuquerque
Farmington
Santa Fe
Socorro
Las Cruces
Clovis/Portales
Alamogordo
Santa Fe
Albuquerque
Bernalillo County TRC
Albuquerque
Statewide
Albuquerque

Community Education Centers Inc. - Men's
Academy Residential

Los Lunas

Community Education Centers Inc. Women's Academy Residential

Albuquerque
Source: NMCD

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APPENDIX H: NMCD FY12 Q3 REPORT CARD
Performance Overview: The New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) has performance measures that
report on core functions: incarceration, release, and recidivism of inmates. The measures are well developed to
evaluate the NMCD’s performance over time. Correctional officer turnover, staffing levels, and re-incarceration
rates improved modestly in the third quarter; this stabilized the number of assaults on inmates and staff and
improves the department’s likelihood of meeting assault targets. The department is taking steps to address the
untimely release of inmates, a problem that persisted in the third quarter.
Inmate Management and
Control
1
2
3
4
5
6

7

8

Budget:
$237,174,400

FTE:
1955.5

Percent turnover of correctional officers*
Number of inmate-on-inmate assaults with serious injury*
(cumulative)
Number of inmate-on-staff assaults with serious injury*
(cumulative)
Percent of inmates testing positive for drug use, including inmates
refusing to be tested in a random monthly drug test*
Percent of female offenders successfully released in accordance
with their scheduled release date*
Percent of male offenders successfully released in accordance with
their scheduled release date *
Percent of all prisoners reincarcerated back into the corrections
department within thirty-six months (after being discharged from a
New Mexico corrections department prison or into community
supervision)*
Recidivism rate of the success for offenders after release program
by thirty-six months*

FY11
Actual

FY12
Target

Q1

Q2

Q3

10.3%

13%

12.2%

11.3%

10.74

14

23

7

13

17

4

10

0

1

1

1.39%

<=2%

1.8%

1.5%

1.77

95%

90%

81.5%

84.7%

81.3

85%

90%

82.8%

83%

82.7

44.62%

47%

46.5%

46.3%

45.87

33.7%

35%

37%

37%

37%

Q4

Rating

Program Rating
Comments: The department continues to improve the turnover rate for correctional officers; nationally turnover rates for
correctional officers are about 16 percent. Timely release of females and males is being addressed through penalties at the
private prisons and heightened vigilance on the state side. A goal of the NMCD is to reduce in-house paroles, which adds to
untimely releases. The NMCD is making major changes to the offender management module of its IT system to better track
which programs inmates enroll in and complete and whether there is a reduction in time of incarceration. Finally, the NMDC
is implementing an assessment tool to help staff enroll inmates in the best program for his or her success. The recidivism rate
for female inmates that are part of the SOAR program is 37 percent over a 36-month period versus 46 percent reincarceration rate for inmates not enrolled in SOAR-like programs (note measures 7 and 8).
Budget:
FTE:
FY11
FY12
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Rating
Corrections Industries
$3,962,200
35
Actual
Target
9

Profit and loss ratio*

-4.2%

Breakeven

-15.5%

-9.3%

4.67%

Program Rating
Comments: Profit and loss are determined at the end of the fiscal year based on the audited figures. There are programs that
are no longer profitable and the NMCD is looking at other alternatives that may be profitable, provide work for inmates while
in prison and transferable skills on release. While the reported figure appears to indicate a profit for the quarter, management
has stated that the calculations need to be validated by the NMCD ASD staff.
Budget:
FTE:
FY11
FY12
Community Offender
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
Rating
$28,144,300
387
Actual
Target
Management
10

Average standard caseload per probation and parole officer*

99

92 +/-3

108

122

114

Program Rating
Comments: The department worked with the State Personnel Office to allow for continuous recruitment. Additionally, the
NMCD training academy is working to have back-to-back academies to increase the number of probation and parole officers
in the community. Finally, the physical fitness requirement has been problematic at both the correctional and probation and
parole officer levels—although applicants can reapply once they have reached the necessary level of physical fitness.

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Suggested Performance Measure Improvement
The NMCD could improve performance measures by moving its focus from custody and monitoring-based measures to
measures focused on evidence-based programming and impact on public safety. Such measures would better reflect the
NMCD mission.
Proposed changes to existing measures:
Existing measures #5 and #6 now only record those individuals who are being released from In-House Parole and does not
use release date in the calculation.
• Percent of offenders successfully released in accordance with their scheduled released date. (Should be calculated as
projected release date-actual release date and include all inmates rather than just IHP).
Proposed new measures:
• Number of NMCD inmates currently on in-house parole.
• Recidivism rate of therapeutic community graduates after thirty-six months.
• Percentage of probationers who successfully complete supervision.
• Percentage of parolees who successfully complete supervision.
• Percentage of parolees classified as high risk that successfully complete supervision.
• Percent of offenders on supervision who are gainfully employed.
• Percent of community corrections funds spent on programs documented as evidence-based programs.
* Denotes House Bill 2 measure

New Mexico Department of Corrections #12-07
Reducing Cost and Recidivism in the Incarceration and Supervision of Adult Offenders
June 14, 2012
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