ALBUQUERUQE, N.M. (KRQE) — Sheriff Dan Houston will not take over the county jail.
Bernalillo County Commissioners voted down a plan that would have turned the metro detention center over to the sheriff to tackle the overcrowding problem.
From the public, to union leaders, to commissioners, everyone had a chance to weigh in on the idea before the commission voted everyone but the sheriff.
“I don’t believe that people here or you as the commission do understand or know what my position is in regards to this, first of all I did not ask for this,” said Sheriff Dan Houston.
The sheriff went on to say he felt like he was just at a public flogging.
This all stems from a proposal by Commissioner Wayne Johnson to let the sheriff’s office run the troubled jail.
The biggest problem is overcrowding.
Tuesday night commissioners took a different approach to the problem.
They approved a plan to allow more inmates back out on the streets before they go to trial and even after they are convicted the idea is that not everyone belongs behind bars.
Commissioner Johnson voted against that plan.
A hundred of those inmates that could get out are considered high-risk including some sex offenders and some people charged with domestic violence.
The district court chief judge who helped put the proposal together said even though some high risk inmates could qualify for that program, judges will still have discretion.
“All our risk assessment will stay the same, nobody will be put into any of these programs that don’t deserve to be put into those programs, public safety will be the primary goal of our court the second goal would be having some positive impact in reducing jail population,” said Chief District Court Judge Ted Baca.
Those high-risk inmates would be monitored by GPS by actual people 24/7.
The cost of all this is one and a half million dollars to start.
Deputy County Manager Tom Swisstack said this move will not only reduce overcrowding it will also save taxpayers money in the long run.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.