New Mexico taxpayers paying $10M a year to keep prisoners in jail

New Mexico has a real problem getting inmates out of prison and into parole programs.

An increasing number of inmates don’t get released at all and serve what’s called “in-house parole.” That means they stay locked up for weeks and sometimes months at a time.

And that costs the state’s taxpayers an estimated $10.3 million a year.

“It’s a major problem,” said Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, co-chairman of the Criminal Justice Reform Subcommittee.

“When I first heard of in-house parole, I thought, what the hell is that?” New Mexico Corrections Department Secretary Gregg Marcantel told New Mexico Watchdog. “It’s a term that doesn’t make any sense.”

A recent study by the Legislative Finance Committee estimates that 290 inmates are serving in-house parole in state facilities. Given that the tab is $99.31 a day to house one in-house parolee, the costs add up.

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