Sierra County, former inmate settle case for $750K | Scott Sandlin

 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sierra County has settled for $750,000 a federal civil rights lawsuit filed on behalf of a former inmate who was held in solitary confinement without his medications for over two weeks in 2012, and left the detention facility with post-traumatic stress disorder...

'Forgotten' inmate gets $15.5 million settlement from N.M. county | Alan Duke

Stephen Slevin's 22 months in solitary confinement in a county jail left him traumatized and physically weak, but he'll soon be a multimillionaire for his suffering...

Settlement over prison punishment OK'd | Scott Sandlin

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — One former inmate at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas said his mental disorder was made much worse by that prison’s practice of forcing prisoners to strip to their boxer shorts and straddle each other for punishment or discipline...

Valencia County pays $1.6 million in jail case | Julia Dendinger

LOS LUNAS – A federal lawsuit against the Valencia County Detention Center by a mentally ill inmate who was held in solitary confinement for long periods and who claimed she was denied feminine hygiene products and not allowed to shower has been settled for $1.6 million...

More prison time won't cut violent crime | Matt Coyte

The horrific shootings in the last few months have generated calls for reform of our criminal justice system. Although change is necessary, we need to implement new policies based on what works rather than what feels good...

APD settles for $150K in 'secret' arrest | Scott Sandlin

Attorney Matthew Coyte’s indignation over alleged police mistreatment of his clients is almost palpable as he describes events that recently led to a settlement with the city for $150,000...

Woman, 73, sues over month in solitary confinement | Deborah Baker

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 73-year-old grandmother with bipolar disorder has filed a federal lawsuit alleging she was kept in solitary confinement for more than a month at the state women’s prison after a popular antacid led to a false positive on a drug test...

ABQ attorney sues Curry County Jail | Robin Fornoff

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Albuquerque lawyer who collected almost $500,000 from Curry County over abuse at its troubled jail facilities has filed a new federal lawsuit alleging his mentally ill client lingered for months in solitary confinement without proper care or treatment...

Guard Captain accused of Inmate Rape | Jeff Proctor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A civil rights lawsuit filed Tuesday makes several explosive allegations, including that a high-ranking guard at the state prison in Los Lunas raped a male inmate several times in 2011 – including while the inmate was handcuffed – and that the prison’s warden helped to...

Lawsuit: Inmate denied treatment after suffering in hot van | Mary Hudetz

A former New Mexico inmate has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Corrections and two state corrections officers, saying they left him and several other shackled prisoners to suffer unattended in a van with inadequate ventilation on a hot summer day...

Editorial: Solitary wrong solution for NM inmates and taxpayers | Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board

Throwing people into the “hole” can be inhumane, and it can be costly to the taxpayers.

A misdemeanor DWI charge landed Jerome Gonzales in the Otero County lockup in 2012. Roughly two months later he...

Bail reform goes to voters | Thomas J. Cole

SANTA FE – New Mexico voters will have their say in the November election on a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would allow judges to hold dangerous felony defendants without bail pending trial...

Contract with state allows Corizon to keep its settlements secret | Phaedra Haywood & Justin Horwath

Massive settlements and jury awards in other states over the years provide a dismal view of the medical care provided to inmates by Corizon Health and other for-profit prison health care companies...

Compromise on NM bail system passes House | Andy Lyman

Legislation that would allow for for judges to withhold bail for defendants who pose a danger to the community, but also waive bail for defendants who are in jail only because they cannot afford it, passed the House unanimously on Monday...

Jail crowding serious, fixable | Matt Coyte

 Most of us realize we live in a country with the highest incarceration rate of any industrialized nation in the world. But until recently we did not know that Bernalillo County has 68 percent more people in jail than the national average.

New jailhouse courtroom needs more thought, input | Matt Coyte

The New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, NMCDLA, is deeply concerned with Bernalillo County’s intention to build a jailhouse courtroom...

Solitary confinement reform fails in committee | Andy Lyman

The legislation failed to pass on a 6 to 5 vote, on party-lines with Republicans opposing the legislation. The bill’s sponsor Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, and his two expert witnesses told committee members that prisoner isolation does more harm than good. One of his witnesses was civil rights lawyer Matthew Coyte...

Inmate to sue over 7 years of solitary confinement at state penitentiary  | Phaedra Haywood

For the past month, Flores-Williams said, Hinzo hasn’t left his cell at all because his unit has been on lockdown.
Both Flores-Williams and Albuquerque attorney Matthew Coyte, who specializes in solitary confinement cases, say solitary is overused in...

APD Culture Needs Correcting | Matt Coyte

Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz missed an opportunity this week to send a message to this community that the views of officer Trey Economidy, and others like him, will not be tolerated. Instead, Schultz treated the issue as one of bad judgment resulting in bad publicity. He should have condemned the attitudes behind the Facebook postings...