SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an executive order directing the New Mexico Corrections Department to make lists of individuals who are eligible for early release.

The executive order says that certain criteria must be met for early release. This order is one of the many preventative measures put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to staff and inmates. Other preventative measures include temporary suspension of visitors, medical screenings of staff and limiting facility transfers.

The order announced on Monday says that all individuals deemed by NMCD who are eligible are ordered to receive a reduction of the remainder of their prison sentence.

Criteria that must be met include the following: a person’s release date is no more than 30 days away, a parole plan is in place, the individual is not a sex offender, the individual has not been convicted of a felony DWI, they are not serving time for domestic abuse, not serving for assault on a peace officer and not serving for firearms enhancement.

“These measures are not taken lightly. Public safety, the safety of our staff, our inmate charges, and of our institutions is of primary concern,” said Cabinet Secretary Alisha Tafoya Lucero in a press release. “In these unprecedented times, we must take action while safeguarding our communities. Every individual considered for early release does have a stable location and will be provided with the necessary tools for successful reentry.”

“We are evaluating every tool in our toolbelt to reduce risk of transmission in our state,” said Governor Lujan Grisham. “Public health and public safety, in this pandemic environment, go hand-in-hand. And we will work as a state to protect every population to the greatest extent that we can.”

All standard procedures for releasing inmates will still be followed and all eligible inmates will remain under state supervision.