New Mexico

Forecast: New Mexico prisons on track to exceed capacity

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico's prisons are nearing capacity, putting more pressure on state lawmakers to find solutions as they consider a host of criminal justice reforms ahead of the next legislative session.
    
The New Mexico Sentencing Commission presented its latest prison population forecast to the legislative Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee on Wednesday in Santa Fe.
    
The forecast suggests the need for beds will grow partly due to an increase in parole violations and the high percentage of serious violent offenders who must serve more time before becoming eligible for release.
    
The report indicates the number of women in prison is expected to surpass capacity within a year and space will run out for male inmates in about two years.
    
Sentencing Commission executive director Linda Freeman told lawmakers New Mexico doesn't have enough halfway houses and other transitional programs.