NM Corrections Department to end conjugal visits

Posted at: 04/16/2014 7:29 AM
Updated at: 04/16/2014 10:55 AM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The New Mexico Corrections Department will no longer allow overnight family visits starting May 1.

The current policy allows for overnight visitation, which has led to conjugal visits.

"Only a small portion of the nearly 7,000 inmates in the Corrections Department qualified for overnight family visits; for the majority of inmates, these changes are exciting," Corrections Department spokeswoman Alex Tomlin said in a statement.

The new family visiting policy will consist of special seminar days in which inmates are divided into reentry groups centered on their interests, such as finances, raising a child, supporting spouses or how to deal with grief and disappointment.

New Mexico was just one of four states that still allowed conjugal visits. In February, the first state to allow such visits, Mississippi, stopped their overnight policy. The state cited the cost of cleanup and other expenses—as well as unexpected pregnancies—as the reason for ending conjugal visits.

Once New Mexico ends their overnight policy, California, New York and Washington will be the only states to allow it.