- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Department of Corrections says it’s seeking to reduce the number of inmates in segregation by convincing gang members to denounce their memberships.

Correction officials say the department recently has focused on former gang members who want to leave Level VI facilities and return to the general inmate population. Under the program, the inmates must renounce their former affiliations and follow strict rules.

Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel recently told state lawmakers that close to 10 percent of the state’s 7,000 or so inmates were living in segregation up to 23 hours a day. He says the department wants to cut that percentage in half.

Officials say once former gang members leave segregation they enter group therapy sessions and other programs.

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