- Girls in the System — Task Force Develops Plan for Gender-Responsive Services and Programs for Girls in the Juvenile Justice System: In response to a House Memorial passed in 2009, the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department convened a task force to develop a sustainable plan for a continuum of gender-responsive services and programs for girls in the juvenile justice system. The initial legislative request for the task force cites the complex and unique needs of girls. The task force reviewed current risk assessment tools, existing treatment options for gender-responsive services and programs, and best practice models for implementing and sustaining genderresponsive services and programs. The task force’s plan recommends implementation of a gender-specific curriculum and programming for all girls in the juvenile justice system. The 2011 legislative request to implement the plan notes the need for early intervention, involvement with families and communities, staff training, and standardized data collection, and also acknowledges the fiscal prudence of early intervention. H.M. 13, 2009/H.M. 40, 2010/H.M. 21, 2011.
- Girls in the System — Legislature Prohibits Use of Restraints on Girls in Labor: A new law prohibits the use of any kind of restraints on an inmate who is in labor, delivering her baby, or recuperating from the delivery, unless there are grounds to believe that she presents an immediate threat of harm to herself, staff, or others, or is a substantial flight risk. The law also mandates that an adult or juvenile correctional facility, detention center, or local jail use the least restrictive restraints necessary when the facility has knowledge that an inmate is in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. S.B. 423/Ch. 73, signed into law April 2; effective July 1, 2009.
- Youth in the Adult System — Working Group Considers Appropriate Detention Placement for Older Youth: In 2009, the New Mexico House of Representatives requested that the Children, Youth and Families Department convene a working group to share resources, research, and recommendations and to otherwise coordinate efforts on the subject of appropriate detention for youth 18-21 years of age. The working group was directed to address concerns regarding housing older youth with adults, as well as concerns with housing such youth with youth aged 12-17. A duplicate House Memorial was passed in 2010 to continue the work of the group. The group made a series of recommendations in 2010 covering various topics, such as when youth may be transferred to adult jails, time limits for initial hearings, hearing procedures, and measures to protect youth aged 18-21 who are placed in adult jails. H.M. 115, 2009/H.M. 29, 2010.