New Mexico is one of the world's most fascinating and beautiful cities. It's also home to a notorious and brutal penitentiary system. What does this have to do with penitentiary security? You might be surprised at how poorly New Mexico houses its prisoners. You may even say it's the worst in Latin America.
What makes the Prisons of New Mexico worse?
The following are several reasons that make the prisons in New Mexico worse:
- Sexual assaults and sexual victimization of inmates in New Mexico's prisons have been reported.
- Mexican prisons are considered one of the most inhumane and dangerous places to be while incarcerated.
- Increased gang activities in Mexican prisons have led to many fatalities.
- Most Mexican prisons are very overcrowded. It means that there are not enough beds for all prisoners; thus, inmates get squashed together on filthy mattresses that are far from hygienic.
Overview of Prisons in New Mexico
Mexican prisons are overcrowded, inmates are treated poorly, face violence, and have poor hygiene. A 2006 National Human Rights Commission report reaffirmed how cruel, inhumane, and degrading the prison system was. The report determined that "many inmates suffer from inadequate food and hygiene.
Also, they are subjected to forced labor with no protection against violence; most of them lack legal counsel and treatment for mental disorders or physical illnesses; a significant number of prisoners have been held for years without being charged or tried."
People have been fighting for humane conditions in Mexican prisons for a long time, but progress is still slow.
So let's see what conditions we're talking about by going through the seven worst prisons in New Mexico.
7 Worst Prisons in New Mexico
The following are the seven worst prisons in the state of New Mexico;
1. The Guadalupe County Correctional Facility:
It is a privately owned, 191,400-square-foot prison for male inmates. It is situated in New New Mexico, two miles southwest of Santa Rosa. There are about 600 inmates housed in this prison, and the GEO group runs it.
The Guadalupe County Correctional Facility has one building that has medical, administrative, and housing units. Construction of this facility began in 1997, and received its first prisoner in January 1999.
Due to criminal activity and the emergence of gangs inside the prison, conditions have gotten worse. Instead of being a high-security prison, several fatalities have been linked to fights between criminal gangs or security personnel.
2. The New Mexico Women's Correctional Facility:
The Western New Mexico correctional facility (WNMCF) is located in the city of Grants, New Mexico. Under a contract with the New Mexico Department of Corrections, the Corrections Corporation of America runs this facility. It has 611 inmates with varying degrees of custody.
The facility, until 1999, served as the Reception and Diagnostic Centre for the department. It also functioned as a Medium/Level III General Population Adult Male Facility following a mission change from 1999 until 2016. The facility's purpose changed in 2016, becoming the Reception and Diagnostic Centre for Females and serving as a level III and IV general population.
The Western New Mexico Correctional Facility is a maximum-security prison for women. The prison has been criticized for its inhumane conditions. Additionally, prisoners endure abhorrent treatment and brutal beatings. Prisoners are subject to sexual victimization, and inmates have reported being the targets of sexual assaults. Moreover, inmates are not given proper medical care.
3. The Lea County Correctional Facility:
The third one on our list of the worst prisons in New Mexico is the Lea County Correctional Facility. It is a medium-security 350,000 square-foot private prison located four miles northwest of Hobbs, New Mexico.
It can house 1,200 adult inmates and is operated by the GEO Group under a contract with the country. The facility's construction got underway in 1997, and it received its first prisoner in May 1998. The facility employs 312 people, including security personnel.
The private prison, Lea County Correctional Facility, has been violating the human rights of inmates by providing inadequate and poorly cooked food. In addition, the prisoners experience violence and are brutally assaulted. In one incident, an inmate was stabbed to death. Inmates experience health problems due to the facility's poor sanitation and hygiene.
4. The San Juan County Adult Detention Center;
San Juan County Adult Detention Center is a medium-security jail located at 871 Andrea Drive, Farmington, NM. The prison was built in 1961 and is arranged on five sections of land in metropolitan Farmington. It has a capacity of 663 inmates.
This medium-security prison has been criticized for its poor conditions and lack of resources. One of the inmates, Aurelia Hernandez, reported that she was not given proper medication and that the facility attempted to silence her not to bring up the issue of her medical negligence.
Sexual harassment is also increasing in this prison, with numerous reports of inmates being sexually harassed and assaulted. On August 10, 2021, San Juan County Adult Detention Officer Kendall Frank Begay was arrested for having sexual contact with one of the female prisoners. Inmates have also reported abuse and cruel treatment by guards, making it one of New Mexico State's worst prisons.
5. The Central New Mexico Correctional Facility;
The Central New Mexico Correctional Facility, located in Los Lunas, New Mexico, is a state-operated adult prison. This prison was originally built in 1980 as a medium-security prison comprising 480 beds. The New Mexico Corrections Department operates the facility.
Riots and violence have plagued this prison in recent years. Inmates have described it as a "hell on earth" as inmates are beaten brutally and abused by guards. It has also been criticized for its poor condition and lack of resources.
6. The Springer Correctional Facility
The Springer Correctional Facility is located in Springer, New Mexico. Earlier on, this prison was a juvenile facility. Later on, in 2007, it was changed into a level I and level II security institute. This prison has 22 buildings spread across 4000 acres that can house 300 inmates.
It is a medium security prison known for its high levels of violence. Gang activities have also increased in it, which has led to many fatalities. Sexual victimization is also at its peak in this prison, where other inmates are harassing inmates. Inmates have also reported being stabbed and beaten by other inmates.
7. The Torrance County Detention Facility;
The Torrance County Detention Center, located in Estancia, New Mexico, is a minimum security facility that houses inmates. The facility houses both male and female offenders. This prison has room for around 910 inmates.
Conditions in this jail have worsened. Inmates are living in inhumane conditions. A report shows that after visiting the Torrance County detention facility, the Inspector General found unhygienic conditions for inmates. Moreover, the inspector has called for immediate closure of the facility. In addition to the prison's poor condition, the inspector discovered it lacked staff. Inmates have also complained about guard abuse and brutal beatings.
You can also read articles related to this topic;