Families of MDC inmates not happy with overcrowding

Posted at: 04/10/2013 5:11 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

With no additional money to contend with the persistent overcrowding at the Metropolitan Detention Center, county officials will have to get creative in how they reduce the population at the state’s largest jail.

Inmates come and go at the Bernalillo County jail every day. And every day the jail, which holds up to about 2,200 inmates, is busting at the seams, overcrowded by hundreds of inmates.

“They need to put more space in there,” Melissa Lucero said.

Loved ones are reacting to Tuesday night’s failed county commission proposal to bring down the number of inmates housed here.

“There’s some people like with DWI and stuff like that, and I think that’s minor,” Diana Pinedo said.

The county would have moved up to 300 inmates to jails in Cibola and Sandoval counties as well as a private prison in Estancia and a faculty in Texas. The plan would have authorized more than $6,000,000 to move the inmates.

“They should get people that don’t belong in there out,” Lucero said. “[Let them go with an] ankle bracelet, house arrest.”

That’s exactly what Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins says the county is working on.

 “We will continue our jail staff will continue to scour the list of inmates to see if there are any more individuals who can safely be monitored in some way, such as community service,” Stebbins said.

The county also has to contend with a federal case that is requiring the county to bring the number of inmates down to capacity by April 2. That means they’ll have to figure out what to do with more than 200 inmates.