- Associated Press - Friday, March 3, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on New Mexico’s solitary confinement legislation (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

A measure aimed at curbing the use of solitary confinement in jails and prisons across the state has passed another legislative hurdle.

The House Judiciary Committee on Friday split along party lines, with Democrats issuing a favorable recommendation. The legislation will now go to the full House for consideration. A similar measure is stalled in the Senate pending more negotiations.

The legislation would prohibit the use of solitary confinement for inmates younger than 18, female inmates known to be pregnant and those who have a serious mental illness.

It also would require regular reporting by all correctional facilities on the inmates who are held in isolation. Aside from numbers, the reports would have to include specific details about inmates’ circumstances and how long they were held in segregation.

___

9:45 a.m.

New Mexico lawmakers are considering legislation designed to curb solitary confinement in jails and prisons across the state.

Judiciary committees in the House and Senate are expected Friday to debate measures prohibiting the use of solitary confinement for inmates younger than 18, pregnant female inmates and those who have a serious mental illness.

Supporters say isolating such inmates is expensive, a factor lawmakers are being forced to weigh as the state grapples with a budget shortfall.

Others say the cost of having such inmates in the general population is unquantifiable, noting that could lead to more altercations among inmates and the need for more guards.

The legislation also requires regular reporting by all correctional facilities on the inmates who are held in isolation with specific details about the circumstances.


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