2019 New Mexico House Bill HB 364
During the 2019 legislative session, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 364, also known as the Corrections Restricted Housing Act. The law prohibits the use of restricted housing—defined by the legislature as holding someone in a cell alone for 22 or more hours a day—on people younger than eighteen years of age and people known to be pregnant. It prohibits people with serious mental illnesses from being placed in restricted housing, provided that the person has been diagnosed by a qualified health professional and clearly exhibits concerning behavior (such as self-harm or delusional behavior). People with serious mental illnesses may be placed in restricted housing if a jail administrator finds that it is necessary to prevent an imminent threat of physical harm to the inmate or another person; however, the placement may not exceed forty-eight hours.
The law also requires that every correctional facility produce reports to the legislature and the board of county commissioners every three months. The report must detail the demographics of the people in restricted housing, the reason restricted housing was instituted, the dates in which each person was in restrictive housing, and other pertinent information. The report must be made publicly available through the department’s website.
Keywords: mentally ill, mental disability, SMI, developmental disability, DD, reporting, private prisons, legislation, bills, youth, young adults, juveniles, minors.