ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Bernalillo County is working to address a critical staffing shortage at the Metropolitan Detention Center. Commissioners approved an emergency resolution to explore ways to ease the burden on jail staff. Ideas include asking for more funding to help with recruiting as well as soliciting help from the Nation Guard and bringing in other county employees on a temporary basis for administrative duties.

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According to a news release from Bernalillo County, the following are some of the possible solutions:

  • MDC will not hold out of county inmates that do not have a Bernalillo County hold as allowed by law and pending agreements.
  • Out of county jails will be required to promptly collect their inmates, which will help MDC correctional officers by reducing the number of virtual hearings they have to coordinate for outside counties.
  • Approve the exploration of appropriation for additional funding to upgrade technology inside MDC.
  • Approve the exploration of appropriations for a budget increase of the MDC recruitment department to help staffing levels inside the facility in the long term.
  • Request assistance from the New Mexico National Guard. This request includes the return of 13 correctional officers who are currently on duty with the New Mexico National Guard. This also includes any assistance that the New Mexico National Guard can provide, that is not related to correctional officer duties, and can assist MDC.
  • Approves the exploration of receiving assistance from interns at the UNM School of Medicine who may perform their internships at MDC and assist with medical needs.
  • The exploration of temporarily transferring Bernalillo County employees from other departments to help perform administrative tasks at MDC.

The county says the shortage could make it hard to comply with what is known as the McClendon Settlement requiring them to maintain certain standards for inmates. The county says the resolution passed on a 5-0 vote.