HOUSE MEMORIAL 36
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
Patricia A. Lundstrom and Raymundo Lara and Angelica Rubio and Harry Garcia and Eliseo Lee Alcon
REQUESTING THE CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT AND THE WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS DEPARTMENT TO UNDERTAKE A STUDY AND DETERMINE WAYS IN WHICH RECENTLY RELEASED INMATES CAN BE BETTER SUPPORTED IN THEIR EFFORTS TO REJOIN SOCIETY AND AVOID RECIDIVISM.
WHEREAS, as of February 1, 2019, there were six thousand two hundred ninety-five men and seven hundred seventy-four women incarcerated in New Mexico state correctional facilities; and
WHEREAS, in 2018, an average of two hundred seventy-six inmates were released from incarceration each week in New Mexico; and
WHEREAS, in May 2018, Bernalillo county opened a new resource re-entry center to assist recently released inmates, but that center serves only inmates being released from the Bernalillo county metropolitan detention center; and
WHEREAS, there are insufficient housing and support services to assist former inmates upon their release from incarceration; and
WHEREAS, former inmates have limited resources upon their release from incarceration, and they may be released on the street without the means to make their way to transitional housing; and
WHEREAS, there are businesses that are willing to provide employment opportunities for recently released inmates, but there is an insufficient network to enable former inmates to find suitable employment; and
WHEREAS, New Mexico has the second-highest recidivism rate in the country, with one-half of its former inmates landing back behind prison bars within three years; and
WHEREAS, the availability of transitional housing, mental health and substance abuse counseling, support services and employment opportunities will help to reduce rates of recidivism;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the corrections department and the workforce solutions department be requested to undertake a feasibility study during the 2019 interim of what steps can be taken to assist newly released inmates to find transitional housing and employment and to successfully reintegrate into society, thereby reducing the rate of recidivism; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the secretary of corrections and the secretary of workforce solutions present their recommendations to the appropriate interim legislative committees by October 1, 2019; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the secretary of corrections, the secretary of workforce solutions and the co-chairs of the New Mexico legislative council.
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