Family/Constituent Services & Correspondence Office
The Family Constituent Services & Correspondence Office serves the growing number of families directly affected by the incarceration of a loved one. This office serves as the central point of contact between the New Mexico Corrections Department and prisoners' children and family members. The objective is to promote open lines of communication. We provide relevant information to questions or concerns via the Web site, phone calls, correspondence, and in-person appointments. We utilize a family-focused approach to support and encourage strong family and community ties that promote the inmate's reentry success. This office also responds to numerous inquiries sent to the Governor's Office. The Constituent Services & Correspondence office provides assistance to New Mexico constituents, legislative entities, interdepartmental state agencies, and the general public.
For assistance, questions or comments for Family Services please send an e-mail to CDFamilySrvcs@state.nm.us.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
My father was recently convicted of a crime. He is at the county jail waiting to be transferred to RDC. What is RDC and what is the process once he gets there?
RDC is the Receiving and Diagnostic Center located in Los Lunas , NM . The RDC unit for female inmates is in Grants, NM, where all the women are housed. Every inmate is evaluated by mental health, education, STG, (Security Threat Group), medical, and security staff. The classification staff completes an initial custody scoring form based on significant factors listed in the risk assessment policy and procedure. These factors include: history of institutional, adjustment/violence, severity of current conviction, escape history, prior felony convictions, severity of prior convictions, alcohol/drug abuse, current age and gang membership in the past 10 (ten) years. All the information is reviewed and points are then assessed (added). The most appropriate custody level for each inmate is then determined based on the score. The levels and locations are as follows:
Previously known as minimum custody. Inmate's 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. Inmates assigned to Level I have less than two and a half years until projected release and are not serving a sentence for murder, sex offense or child abuse. Non-violent inmates may be eligible for work or school release.
Previously known as minimum restrict. Inmate's criminal background and record of institutional behavior indicate that the inmate can function in a dormitory setting without presenting a significant risk to the safe, secure and orderly operation of the institution. There must be no recent history of violent incidents or escape. Inmate has the ability to work outside the confines of the security perimeter under staff supervision without posing a risk of escape. Inmates assigned to level II have less than four (4) years until projected release and are not serving a sentence for first-degree murder.
Previously known as medium custody. This is where the bulk of the inmate population lies. Inmate's criminal background and record of institutional behavior indicate that the inmate requires placement within the confines of double-fenced security perimeter with armed towers and armed vehicle patrol. Inmate has the ability to function among other inmates in general population under staff supervision without posing a threat to security or to staff or other inmates
Previously known as close custody. Inmate's criminal background and record of institutional behavior indicate that the inmate requires the need for continued staff supervision and observation within the confines of the security fences, armed towers and armed vehicle patrols. Inmate has the ability to function in general population but due to previous behavior or criminal background, inmate has a potential for actions that may threaten the security of the institution.
SPECIAL MANAGEMENT UNITS
Institutional behavior indicates the inability to function in general population because the inmate poses a threat to the safety of the staff, inmates or to the security of the institution. Inmate requires separation from the general population with limited movement and activities. Some inmates in level V are housed in single occupancy cells for 23 hours per day, receiving one (1) hour per day for recreation. Inmate may or may not be allowed to congregate with other inmates. Inmates in this level have been identified for reintegration to a general population facility.
Institutional behavior threatens the security of the institution, requiring separation from the general population. This behavior includes, but is not limited to, assault, escape, inciting riots and planning or participating in security threat group activities. Inmates are housed in single occupancy cells for 23 hours per day and are not allowed to congregate with other inmates. They receive one (1) hour per day for recreation.
My husband is at the Lea County Correctional Facility in Hobbs and I live in Albuquerque with my (3) three children. I am not in good health, which makes it difficult to travel. I would like for my husband to be transferred to a facility closer to his family.
The procedure currently specifies that an inmate must initiate a lateral transfer request through their caseworker. The request is processed through classification at the facility. If approved at the facility level, the request is submitted to the Classification Bureau Chief, at Central Office for a final decision. Many times, family members call and want the inmate transferred. The request must come from the inmate. There may be factors that do not allow the inmate to be transferred to a certain prison. It is significant to note that due to space availability, it is difficult to transfer inmates based on being closer to their families. Inmates are assigned to facilities based on their custody level and space availability.
My son was initially advised by his caseworker that he was getting out of prison on the 10th of this month. He has since been informed that his release date is the 20th of the month. Why did the date change?
Inmates are given a projected release date. A "projected" date is determined by the good time that the inmate has earned and/or is expected to earn. If good time is not earned as anticipated, or is forfeited as a result of a misconduct report, the inmate's release date will change. Also, if additional good time is earned or credited (by the courts or restored) this will result in an adjusted release date. Please note that all inmate files are audited prior to release. Any errors found must be corrected which may affect the release date.
How do I send money to an inmate?
Funds sent to an inmate must be in the form of a certified check or money order. The certified check or money order should indicate the inmate's name and their five (5) digit Corrections number. The sender of the money must be on the inmates approved visitor list for the inmate to receive the money. All monies received in proper form are deposited into the inmates account. The inmate will be advised of this deposit through a receipt.
What do I need to do in order to visit an inmate?
Inmates must request to have your name placed on their visiting list. A visiting application will be sent to you for completion. The questionnaire is to be filled out completely and accurately. When the application is returned, it will be reviewed for an approval or denial in accordance with visiting guidelines. Your name will be added to the visiting list once it has been approved.
My husband received a misconduct report for being in possession of drugs at the prison? He claims he is innocent of these charges. What can be done?
Inmates are required to comply with standards of reasonable behavior and limitations in order to ensure the general welfare and safety of all persons living and working within the institution. This is established and maintained in fair disciplinary procedures and practices based on due process. When an inmate receives a misconduct report, it is processed through the disciplinary procedure. This includes a hearing based on evidence and an investigation. If an inmate is found guilty based on the above procedure, he/she may file a disciplinary appeal on form CD-090101.7. Inmates are provided with this information at orientation. Many times inmates state that they are fearful to admit to family members that they received a report, as they do not want to lose visits and/or financial and emotional support.
My visits were suspended at the prison. Is there anything I can I do?
Any visitor who has received a suspension or permanent termination from visiting may appeal his or her suspension or permanent termination in writing to the Director of Adult Prisons. Your request for reinstatement should be noted.
Director of Adult Prisons
NM Corrections Department
P.O. Box 27116
Santa Fe , NM 87502-0116
I recently tested positive on the ION drug scan machine. I agreed to have my vehicle searched and was offered a non-contact visit. I do not do drugs, nor do any members of my family, yet, I still tested positive.
The ION Drug Scan device is designed to register minute traces of drug residue that may have been encountered in every day activities. It does not indicate that you use drugs. The use of this device is a necessary measure to prevent the introduction of narcotics from entering the facility.
My grandson claims that he is not receiving proper medical attention at the prison. What can be done?
Inmates may request to see medical staff by submitting a "sick call slip" to the medical department where the inmate is located. Medical staff will determine what action is necessary. If the inmate is unhappy with the medical care, he/she may utilize the grievance process, as per New Mexico Corrections Department policy. When that process is complete, and the inmate is still unhappy, the inmate then has an appeal process. At that point, the New Mexico Corrections Department's Medical Director will review the case. Medical staff is not allowed to provide family members with medical information concerning the inmate unless the inmate has signed a medical waiver, or an authorizing to release information form.
My son was placed in Level VI at the North Facility. He states it was due to gang activity. Is this a valid reason to be in Level VI?
Yes, inmates placed in the Level VI are considered a threat to the security of the institution and require separation from the general population. This behavior includes, but is not limited to, assault, escape, inciting riots and planning or participating in security threat group/gang activities. Inmates are housed in single occupancy cells and not allowed to mingle with other inmates.
How do I find out when an inmate is getting out of prison?
Inmates have access on a regular basis who should know the release date. Inmates receive a good time figuring sheet on a monthly or quarterly basis, (depending on the amount of time left to serve), and this release information. It is best to keep in contact with the inmate, as he/she is aware of lump sum awards and forfeitures that may be pending. If an inmate is unclear of their release date, he/she release date he/she should discuss this issue with his/her caseworker and then inform you.
I asked my husband who was recently paroled, what his parole conditions were, and he claims he never got a copy of them.
Inmates who are paroled are required to sign the parole conditions prior to being released. They are given a copy of these conditions to ensure that they comply with what the Parole Board stipulated . They are encouraged to keep this document with them or in an accessible place. If they happen to lose this document, they can get another copy from their parole officer.