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Jail director considering more beds, academic program

Sandoval County Detention Center Al Casamento updated county commissioners this week about improvements at the facility, suggesting more beds and high school graduation classes could be the next step.

In recent months the jail has begun housing inmates from the overcrowded Metropolitan Detention Center under an agreement with Bernalillo County. The U.S. Marshal’s Service, which had pulled prisoners a couple of years ago after three inmate suicides, has also returned prisoners to the facility.

The inmate population in November was at 361, of those 115 to 130 were from MDC and 70 to 75 were federal prisoners. The rest are from various parts of the state. The jail can accommodate up to 386 inmates, Casamento said.

Casamento told commissioners the jail could increase its maximum inmate capacity by adding  50 to 75 wall-mounted bunk beds and still comply with federal detention center standards. The expansion would cost less than $40,000 could increase the jail’s revenue, he said.

The jail director said he’s been contacted by the charter school that operates an “academic reintegration” program offering high school classes at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Bernalillo County. Casamento believes such a program would benefit inmates at the Sandoval County facility.

He said the school would provide teachers and materials. The jail would have to provide an internet connection teachers would need to conduct testing.



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