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NM Legislative Finance Committe-Performance Report Card 3rd Qtr, 2022

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NEW

MEX I CO

LEGISLATIVE

FINANCE
COMMITTEE

Submitted by agency?

Yes

Timeline assigned?

No

Responsibility assigned?

No

Indexed to FY09
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%

Corrections Department
Third Quarter, Fiscal Year 2022

Corrections Department

ACTION PLAN

New Mexico Prison
Population

PERFORMANCE REPORT CARD

In the third quarter of FY22, the Corrections Department (NMCD) continued to see the
inmate population fall, while reporting improvements in several areas, including overall
offender recidivism. Vacancies among correctional officers remain high, impacting the
distribution of inmates among prison facilities. Errors in the agency’s prior reporting and
continued issues in reporting results in accordance with LFC and DFA direction create
difficulties in analyzing some areas of NMCD’s performance.
Although prison populations fell slightly in April, population trends and admissions data
suggest inmate population may begin to stabilize after falling almost every month for
over three years. In April 2022, New Mexico’s prisons held an average of 5,651 inmates
(5,128 men and 523 women), a decrease of 0.2 percent compared with March 2022 and
3.8 percent lower than April 2021. Notably, the rate at which the population is falling
seems to be decreasing, with the year-over-year reduction dropping every month from
September 2021 (7.5 percent) through April (3.8 percent). Prison admissions in the first
three quarters of FY22 were up 2 percent compared with the same period in FY21.
Inmate Management and Control

-10%

The overall three-year recidivism rate of offenders released from NMCD’s custody
decreased an additional percentage point this quarter, surpassing the agency’s FY22
target and falling six percentage points from FY21, marking the fifth consecutive quarter
v..J. ."r; :, ~"\.J..."b<~"'o~"'o ~'1,,~.J...4
of improvement in this crucial area. Recidivism due to new offenses fell 0.8 percentage
~ Avg. Men's Population
~ Avg. Women's Population
points compared with the second quarter, while recidivism due to technical parole
*FY22 average as of April 2022.
violations remained relatively steady. Improved recidivism rates may reflect improved
Source: NMSC, LFC files
reentry programming, but it is worth noting case clearance rates, arrests, and convictions
have been trending downward, which could also impact recidivism. Despite the
improvement in overall recidivism, the
Programming Spotlight: Women in Leadership
measure’s rating remains yellow due to a
lack of historical data with which to
This year, NMCD’s Reentry Division partnered with Women in Leadership (WIL), an
compare current results (see Data Quality
Albuquerque-based organization providing services for justice-involved women, to
Concerns, below).

-20%

bring opportunities to women at Western New Mexico Correctional Facility and Springer
Correctional Center (SCC). WIL’s mission is to “uplift, empower, and inspire women to
develop self-advocacy skills in order to become leaders through personal and
professional growth by providing access to leadership development and educational
opportunities.”

WIL is working with women six months from projected release, referred to the program
by reentry coordinators based on an assessment of their reentry needs. In FY22, WIL
met with a total of 62 women to provide one-on-one case management prerelease and
conducted 18 workshops covering topics including self-esteem, trauma, anxiety,
leadership, and goal setting. WIL collaborates with many partners to assist in
addressing the needs of the incarcerated population, including individuals within the
behavioral health and educational fields, as well as partners like Dress for Success,
which facilitated 24 classes this year focusing on employment and career readiness
skills.
To demonstrate the leadership and self-confidence skills they developed while working
with WIL, a group of incarcerated women from SCC presented a Zoom session on selfesteem to a group of women leaders in the community and are working on a podcast.

Vacancies among public and private
correctional officers remain high, with
NMCD reporting vacancy rates of 28
percent and 27 percent, respectively. The
Penitentiary of New Mexico drives
vacancy rates among public correctional
officer vacancies, with an average of
almost 100 correctional officer positions
unfilled in the third quarter of FY22.
Guadalupe County Correctional Facility
(GCCF) in Santa Rosa, with almost 60
percent of custody positions vacant, and
Northeast New Mexico Correctional
Facility (NENMCF) in Clayton, with
almost 50 percent of correctional officer
positions unfilled, had the highest

NEW

MEX I CO

LEGISLATIVE

FINANCE
~~~•COMMITTEE

Hepatitis C Treatment
This quarter NMCD treated 97
inmates for hepatitis C with an 83
percent treatment success rate,
bringing the total number of inmates
treated since the agency began its
concentrated effort to eliminate the
disease from prisons to 715, about
25 percent of the total infected
population housed in New Mexico’s
prisons.
The department has expended $11
million of the total $22 million
appropriated for this purpose, as
well as $5.2 million from its
operating budget. During the 2022
legislative session, the special
appropriation was extended through
FY23. Based on current treatment
rates, it may be necessary to extend
the appropriation for an additional
one to two years to fully complete
the project.

Inmate Drug Test
Positivity Rate

PERFORMANCE REPORT CARD
Corrections Department
Third Quarter, Fiscal Year 2022

vacancy rates among public facilities this quarter. Last spring, high vacancies among
correctional officers at GCCF prompted NMCD to reduce the inmate population at that
facility to less than half its capacity, and as vacancy rates among correctional officers at
NENMCF began to increase significantly this fall, the agency similarly reduced the
population housed at that facility to under half capacity. As of May 2, GCCF housed 257
inmates (44 percent of its 590-bed capacity) and NENMCF housed 280 inmates (45
percent of its 628-bed capacity).
Western New Mexico Correctional Facility South (WNMCF-S) in Grants (previously
known as Northwest New Mexico Correctional Facility) had the lowest correctional
officer vacancy rate among public facilities, at 14 percent, while Central New Mexico
Correctional Facility (CNMCF) in Los Lunas had a vacancy rate of 17 percent.
CNMCF’s low vacancy rate is a result of the transfer of 93 vacant positions to GCCF
and WNMCF-S when the Corrections Department (NMCD) took over operations of
those facilities in November, and the facility employed 35 fewer officers in May than at
the beginning of FY22. Of the 135 vacant positions transferred from CNMCF and other
facilities to GCCF and WNMCF-S in November, 87 were filled as of May 1. After
transferring significant vacancy savings out of Inmate Management and Control
personnel, the agency’s most recent budget projection estimates a year-end balance of
$3.7 million in that category.
NMCD’s reporting on release-eligible inmates imprisoned past their release dates (those
serving “in-house parole”) continues to not comply with guidance from DFA and LFC
(see Data Quality Concerns, below). Although the department reports relatively similar
levels of inmates serving in-house parole this quarter compared with the second quarter,
the number of in-house parolees appears to have increased from an estimated average of
61 in the second quarter to 70 in the third quarter. In April and May, the number of inhouse parolees has increased further, reaching 75 on April 15, 95 on May 16, and 101
on May 26. This increase is particularly notable because NMCD cut the number of inhouse parolees by almost half between FY20 and FY21. While the FY22 average inhouse parole population is still likely to be lower than the FY21 average, this upward
trend is concerning.
Drug use among inmates rose significantly in the first three quarters of FY22 compared
with FY21, with the positivity rate of randomly-administered drug tests averaging 3.7
percent over this period. This reverses three years of reduced drug use, with test
positivity rates falling from 3.9 percent in FY18 to 2 percent in FY21. To reduce the
flow of drugs into prison facilities, NMCD instituted a new policy in December 2021 in
which personal mail for inmates at publicly operated facilities is not sent directly to those
facilities but is routed through a third-party vendor that provides scanned versions of the
mail to inmates; this significantly restricts the types of mail inmates may receive, with
items such as greeting cards no longer accepted. This policy does not appear to have
reduced drug use in the third quarter; results in future quarters should be monitored to
determine if the policy is having its intended impact.

4.5%
4.0%
3.5%
3.0%
2.5%
2.0%
1.5%
1.0%
0.5%
FY22 YTD

FY21

FY20

FY19

FY18

FY17

FY16

0.0%

Source: NMCD

Budget: $278,234.1

FTE: 1,995

Recidivism
Prisoners reincarcerated within 36
months1

FY20
Actual

FY21
Actual

FY22
Target

FY22
Q1

FY22
Q2

FY22
Q3

Rating

54%

44%

42%

42%

39%

38%

y

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ll 1 ,

MEX I CO

LEGISLATIVE

FINANCE
~~~■ COMMITTEE

Covid-19 in Prisons
As of May 26, there were no active
Covid-19 cases in New Mexico’s
prisons. Overall, the agency
reported a total of 4,104 positive
cases, 4,030 recoveries, and 29
deaths over the course of the
pandemic. The largest number of
positive cases were at Lea County
Correctional Facility, the facility with
the largest prison population, while
12 of the 29 deaths were at CNMCF,
which houses inmates in need of
serious and long-term medical care.

PERFORMANCE REPORT CARD
Corrections Department
Third Quarter, Fiscal Year 2022

Prisoners reincarcerated within 36
months due to new charges or pending
charges
Sex offenders reincarcerated on a new
sex offense conviction within 36 months
of release on the previous sex offense
conviction
Residential drug abuse program
graduates reincarcerated within 36
months of release*
Prison Violence
Inmate-on-inmate assaults resulting in
injury requiring off-site medical
treatment
Inmate-on-staff assaults resulting in
injury requiring off-site medical
treatment.
In-House Parole
Release-eligible female inmates still
incarcerated past their scheduled release
date2
Release-eligible male inmates still
incarcerated past their scheduled release
date2
Staffing
Vacancy rate of correctional officers in
public facilities
Vacancy rate of correctional officers in
private facilities

Estimated Number of
Release-Eligible
Inmates Incarcerated
Past Release Date by
Quarter
180
160

120

14%

15%

14%

15%

14%

G

2%

6%

3%

0%

0%

0%

G

21%

22%

N/A

21%

23%

22%

31

6

15

0

0

2

G

7

3

0

0

1

1

y

7.7%

0.6%

6%

0.9%

1.5%

1.1%

y

6.4%

1.4%

6%

1.4%

1.1%

1.2%

y

31%

27%

20%

31%

26%

28%

46%

25%

20%

44%

28%

27%

62%

41%

68%

29%

41%

43%

77%

5%

N/A

3.5%

4.2%

3.7%

77%

5%

80%

3.5%

4.2%

3.7%

134

118

150

20

24

21

87%

90%

100%

94%

95%

96%

2.5%

2%

N/A

3.9%

3.4%

3.9%

--

-y

y

y

*Measure is classified as explanatory and does not have a target.
1. Measure’s yellow rating reflects outstanding reporting issues; see Data Quality Concerns, below.
2. Measure’s yellow ranking reflects outstanding reporting issues; see Data Quality Concerns, below.
3. NMCD reported this measure had previously been miscalculated and changed the calculation for FY21 but did not provide corrected
historical reports. Previously, both measures were calculated as the pass rate of the high school equivalency (HSE) test; now, both are
reported as the percent of inmates enrolled in adult basic education who pass the HSE test and therefore earn the credential.

100
80
60
40

11111

FY20 Q1
FY20 Q2
FY20 Q3
FY20 Q4
FY21 Q1
FY21 Q2
FY21 Q3
FY21 Q4
FY22 Q1
FY22 Q2
FY22 Q3

0

Health
Standard healthcare requirements met by
medical contract vendor
Random monthly drug tests administered
to at least 10 percent of the inmate
population that tests positive for drug
use*
Program Rating

140

20

Education
Eligible inmates enrolled in educational,
cognitive, vocational and college
programs
Participating inmates who have
completed adult basic education*3
Percent of eligible inmates who earn a
high school equivalency credential3
Number of inmates who earn a high
school equivalency credential

12%

Source: NMCD, LFC files

Community Offender Management
Vacancy rates among probation and parole officers rose an additional percentage point
this quarter, the fifth quarter in a row in which NMCD has reported an increase in
vacancies for these positions. The 23 percent vacancy rate among these positions this
quarter is almost as high as the 25 percent average vacancy rate in FY20, suggesting the
dramatic improvement in vacancies in FY21 (over which vacancy rates averaged 16

NEW

MEX I CO

LEGISLATIVE

FINANCE
~~~•COMMITTEE

PERFORMANCE REPORT CARD
Corrections Department
Third Quarter, Fiscal Year 2022

percent) may be reversing. The agency attributes rising vacancies to retirements and
attrition to other law enforcement agencies that offer significantly higher salaries, such
as the Albuquerque Police Department and federal law enforcement agencies.
After improving for four consecutive quarters, the recidivism rate at the women’s
recovery center rose 5 percentage points this quarter, but remains well below target.
NMCD credits this improvement to the initiation of new, evidence-based programs,
including trauma-informed programming specifically intended for women. Although the
men’s recovery center saw a relatively high recidivism rate in prior years and the first
half of FY22, recidivism dropped 14 percentage points (from 25 percent to 11 percent)
in the third quarter.
Budget: $38,379.6
FTE: 363
Prisoners reincarcerated within 36
months due to technical parole
violations1
Graduates from the women’s recovery
center who are reincarcerated within 36
months
Graduates from the men’s recovery
center who are reincarcerated within 36
months
Average standard caseload per probation
and parole officer
Contacts per month made with high-risk
offenders in the community
Vacancy rate of probation and parole
officers
Program Rating

FY20
Actual

FY21
Actual

FY22
Target

FY22
Q1

FY22
Q2

FY22
Q3

13%

30%

15%

26%

23%

24%

25%

27%

20%

17%

10%

15%

-

23%

28%

20%

22%

25%

11%

G

91

88

100

88

85

86

96%

94%

97%

96%

98%

96%

20%

20%

21%

23%

-25%

16%

1. Measure has outstanding reporting issues; see Data Quality Concerns, below.

Rating

G

y

Data Quality Concerns
A number of issues in NMCD’s quarterly reporting lead to concerns regarding overall data quality in the reports that have been outstanding
for several months. Specific issues are outlined below.
Measure(s)

Issue(s)

Prisoners reincarcerated within 36
months

In the first quarter of FY21, NMCD reported its overall three-year recidivism rate had been reported
incorrectly since 2016 due to a database error that erroneously counted all intakes to the parole system
as prison admissions for purposes of calculating reincarceration rates. The agency has corrected this
issue, but because it has not provided corrected historical data on this measure, it is unclear if FY21’s
recidivism results represent an increase or decrease from previous years. NMCD reports it is working on
recalculating annual results for its three-year recidivism rate measure but has not yet provided results.

Release eligible male and female
inmates still incarcerated past their
scheduled release date

NMCD reported this measure had previously been miscalculated and changed the calculation for FY21
but did not provide corrected historical reports. LFC and DFA analysts believe NMCD’s altered calculation
is incorrect (the original calculation is correct), but NMCD has not revised its reports for FY21 or FY22
despite explicit guidance to do so.

Prisoners reincarcerated within 36
months due to technical parole
violations

In August 2021, NMCD reported several prior years’ performance reports had excluded absconders when
calculating recidivism rates for technical parole violations, although the measure is defined to include
absconders. The department included absconders in its FY21 reports but had not informed LFC of this
change. As a result, it is not possible to compare FY21’s 30 percent recidivism rate for technical violations
to prior years’ performance, and it is not clear if this an increase or decrease.

 

 

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