- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico’s 11 state-run prisons will be on lockdown for a few days while staff member search for banned items.

New Mexico Corrections Department Secretary Gregg Marcantel ordered the lockdown, which began Monday morning. Visitors will not be allowed at the prisons until the lockdown is complete, but prison officials say it should be over before Thanksgiving.

Marcantel said in a statement that the unannounced lockdowns help the corrections department examine its security, operations and prison conditions.

Department spokeswoman Ashley Espinoza says staff members check the prisons cell by cell. She says the last routine check was in June and searchers found a few shanks and Suboxone.

According to Espinoza, New Mexico state prisons hold a total of 7,302 inmates.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that department spokeswoman Ashley Espinoza is female.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, https://www.sfnewmexican.com


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