SENATE BILL 399
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
RELATING TO CORRECTIONS; AMENDING THE RESTRICTED HOUSING ACT; EXPANDING THE AGE LIMIT ON SOLITARY CONFINEMENT; REDUCING THE NUMBER OF HOURS AND DAYS AN INMATE MAY BE HELD IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 33-16-2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2019, Chapter 194, Section 2) is amended to read:
"33-16-2. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Restricted Housing Act:
A. "correctional facility" means a jail, prison or other detention facility that is used for the confinement of adult or juvenile persons, whether operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state or a private contractor on behalf of the state or a political subdivision of the state;
B. "inmate" means an adult or juvenile person who is under sentence to or confined in a correctional facility;
C. "restricted housing", whether instituted pursuant to disciplinary, administrative, inmate classification or other action, means confinement of an inmate locked in a cell or similar living quarters in a correctional facility for [twenty-two] seventeen or more hours each day without any rehabilitative programming that includes daily, meaningful and sustained human interaction; and
D. "serious mental disability" means:
(1) a serious mental illness, including schizophrenia, psychosis, major depression and bipolar disorder; or
(2) having a significant functional impairment along with a brain injury, organic brain syndrome or intellectual disability."
SECTION 2. Section 33-16-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2019, Chapter 194, Section 3) is amended to read:
"33-16-3. RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF RESTRICTED HOUSING.--
A. An inmate who is younger than [eighteen] twenty-one years of age or older than fifty-five years of age shall not be placed in restricted housing.
B. An inmate who is known to be pregnant or in the first eight weeks of the postpartum recovery period after giving birth shall not be placed in restricted housing.
C. An inmate who belongs to a vulnerable population, including inmates who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, shall not be placed in restricted housing involuntarily or for protective custody.
D. An inmate in a facility operated by the corrections department or its contractors shall not be housed in restricted housing for more than fifteen consecutive days or more than ninety total days in a twelve-month period.
E. If a warden, jail administrator or person in charge of a correctional facility finds that an inmate requires housing in restricted housing for more than ninety total days in a twelve-month period, the warden, jail administrator or person in charge of the correctional facility shall:
(1) make a written record of the facts and circumstances that necessitated the inmate's placement in restricted housing; and
(2) prepare a written action plan describing how the facility will transition the inmate out of restricted housing at the earliest opportunity.
F. An inmate in a county jail, town jail, village jail or other political subdivision jail shall not be held in restricted housing during the first three days of incarceration in that jail except when the findings of a suicide screening instrument conclude that the inmate is not likely to engage in harm to self."
SECTION 3. Section 33-16-5 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2019, Chapter 194, Section 5) is amended to read:
"33-16-5. CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES--TRANSPARENCY AND REPORTING.--
A. Every three months, every correctional facility shall:
(1) produce a report that includes:
(a) the age, gender, [and] ethnicity, name and inmate identification number of every inmate who was placed in restricted housing during the previous three months, including every inmate who is in restricted housing at the time the report is produced; and
[(b) the reason restricted housing was instituted for each inmate listed in the report; and
(c)] (b) the dates on which each inmate was placed in and released from restricted housing during the previous three months; and
(2) submit a report prepared in accordance with this subsection to the:
(a) legislature, if the correctional facility is a prison; and
(b) board of county commissioners of the county in which the correctional facility is located, if the facility is a jail.
B. The corrections department shall post to its public website every report produced pursuant to Subsection A of this section."
- 5 -