Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will be releasing nonviolent individuals in prisons and jails to restrict the spread of COVID-19.
Individuals who are in close corners with one another such prisoners are at greater risk for contracting COVID-19. Gov. Lujan Grisham has taken in consideration of nonviolent offenders, which could include petty theft, white-collar crimes, drug and alcohol crimes so as long as they did not affect anyone else in bodily harm when the crime was committed.
According to KOB, some of the nonviolent inmates whom the Governor will consider for early release are based on the following: the person’s release date is no greater than 30 days away, there is a necessary parole plan put in place for the individual, the individual is not a sex offender, the individual is not serving time for assault against a peace officer, the individual is not serving time for firearms enhancement, and the person was not convicted of a DWI felony or for domestic abuse. Although individuals who may fit into these guidelines put in place, they will still remain under the supervision of the state according to their parole plan. The people who are likely to be released will be the individuals who are more at risk, but still falling into the categories outlined above.
This executive order from the Governor to release the eligible individuals came after protests were initiated by the community to allow the release of people in the jails, prisons and detention centers according to KRQE. With pressure from the community she requested a list of potential inmates from the New Mexico Corrections Department. This list provided names of individuals who fit in the criteria above.
There are roughly 18,000 people behind bars in New Mexico according to the Prison Policy Initiative website. People who are in these facilities are more at risk because they do not have the means to keep every individual approximately six feet apart. This executive order announced by the Governor can help elevate the rapid spread of COVID-19 and still help to ensure the safety of the community throughout the state. Other measures put into place to reduce the number of outbreaks include a temporary suspension of visitors to prisons and jails.