- Associated Press - Friday, March 17, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A measure aimed at curbing the use of solitary confinement in jails and prisons across New Mexico is headed to the governor’s desk.

The House voted Friday to send the final version of the bill to Gov. Susana Martinez after advocates for years have pushed similar legislation.

Under the proposal, pregnant women and juveniles are banned from being placed in solitary confinement.

The bill also limits the use of solitary confinement on inmates suffering from mental illness. Those prisoners won’t be placed in isolation unless the inmate poses an imminent threat.

Supporters say isolating such prisoners is expensive, a factor lawmakers weighed as the state grapples with a budget shortfall.

Others say having such inmates in the general population could lead to more altercations among inmates.

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