Monday, November 26, 2012

How much justice can we afford?

The Bernalillo County Detention Center in Albuquerque has announced plans to release hundreds of prisoners - mostly in jail for petty crimes or petty warrants- and instead monitor these defendants with an ankle bracelet program. With the average cost of housing an inmate for one day at $80 or more, the ankle bracelet program could save tax payers hundreds of thousands annually.

Said the chief jail administrator:

We have a lot of offenders here that really don't pose that much of a threat to public safety," said jail chief Ramon Rustin. "Those individuals have a bunch of issues; substance abuse issues, alcohol issues. They're petty crime type offenders."
Unfortunately here in Dona Ana County, no such ankle bracelet program exists. Former DA - now Governor - Susana Martinez somehow persuaded local authorities to prohibit such a program.

Given that the majority of people held on local charges in DA County are in for minor crimes and misdemeanors, isn't it time we considered a more enlightened (and cost-beneficial) approach to justice?

Bernalillo County plans to release prisoners |

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