by Paul Gessing, Marc A. Levin
Rio Grande Foundation
November 26, 2013
New Mexico had approximately 1 in 35 residents are under correctional control in 2009. In 2008, New Mexico spent 4.6 percent of its general fund on corrections. Every area of the budget must be scrutinized by state policymakers, as the state will face a projected $345 million shortfall in its next budget. Fortunately, there are numerous policy options that New Mexico policymakers can take to avoid building the new prisons that would likely be needed based on current projections. The approaches would in many instances increase the number of offenders who comply with community supervision, stay drug-free, and are gainfully employed. These include drug courts, mandatory treatment and work requirements for first time offenders, graduated responses for probationers and parolees, and modernized sentencing laws.

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