Last year, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson promised a reform of the state's corrections system. Then the economy tanked. Corrections reform receded during this year's 60-day legislative session. Now, reports the New Mexico Independent, the governor is touting prison reform for next year’s legislative session. He appointed a Re-Entry Council – to carry out the work of an earlier task force that last year issued reform recommendations.
While New Mexico's prisons aren't so overcrowded as they are in other states, the state's system still grapples with issues, including recidivism, offender drug use, and the difficulty offenders face in finding gainful employment when they return to society. New Mexico's 47 percent recidivism rate is lower than the national average of 52 percent, says the state sentencing commission.