N.M.Task Force calls for more treatment for offenders - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

N.M.Task Force calls for more treatment for offenders

SANTA FE (AP) _ The state needs to expand treatment and probation programs to help keep nonviolent, low-risk offenders out of prisons.

That's according to a task force formed by Governor Richardson. The task force issued a report today that outlined broad recommendations that could reduce prison populations and potentially delay the need for the state to expand its prison system in the future. About 47 percent of all paroled inmates in New Mexico end up returning to prison.

The task force says mental health and social services should be increased to handle more offenders who are placed on probation as an alternative to prison. A spokesman for Richardson says the governor will take a hard look at the recommendations with an eye toward aggressively attacking the mental health and substance abuse problems in a fiscally responsible manner.

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