Charter Rights
Story Archives
Sign Our Guestbook
View Guestbook
Contact Capp @   or   Post Comments  CAPP Message Board   and  Any Upcoming Events

Jail Ordered to Make Improvements

Santa Fe The New Mexican
Saturday, August 30, 2003

Santa Fe County’s private prison operator has 30 days to come up with a corrective-action plan to address issues raised in a recent audit by the state Department of Corrections, the department announced Friday.

Corrections Secretary Joe Williams said workers who inspected the Santa Fe County Adult Detention Center two weeks ago found that Management and Training Corp. has made strides in improving security at the jail since the state threatened to remove its inmates from the facility earlier this summer.

But Williams wants the Utah-based operator to work harder at complying with contractual obligations regarding programs and services, he said in a written statement Friday.

Williams said the jail needs to improve its classification and grievance procedures, discipline, record-keeping and inmate programs such as education and recreation.
The state contracts with Santa Fe County to jail 142 medium-security Department of Corrections inmates for a daily fee of $55.30 per inmate. The department also has inmates in three other privately run jails in the state.

Santa Fe County’s facility rated poorly in a security audit performed in July, when inspectors found problems with tool inventory, key control and booking procedures.
The more recent audit showed improvement in these areas but identified other problems at the jail.

Department spokeswoman Tia Bland said the county is not providing all the educational services it agreed to provide.

For example, she said state inmates are supposed to have an employment-readiness program called SOAR, or Success for Offenders After Release, but MTC has not instituted one.

The facility also has not provided enough slots for vocational computer training or compiled the proper progress reports for its adult basic-education program, Bland said.

“We have spent the past month emphasizing security improvements,” Jail Warden Steve Hargett said in a news release from MTC. “After making great headway in those areas, my staff can now turn some of its attention to resolving these lesser, but still important, issues.”

Hargett said he’s working on a plan to fix programming and looks forward to showing the department progress when it sends auditors again in a month.

Williams said in July that he was considering removing state inmates from the jail despite the need to house them outside the department’s prisons to relieve overcrowding.
Because of its proximity to the state penitentiary on N.M. 14, the jail is an ideal location to house overflow inmates, he said Friday.

“But Santa Fe County must continue to improve jail operations if we are going to continue to contract with them. Public safety is our utmost concern,” Williams said.

| Post Any Upcoming Events | Top of Page | Home Page | Post Comments on Message Board |