Crisis in Our Jails – posted by on November 29, 2023

Daniel J. Chacón’s article (“County jails short-staffed statewide, posing risk,” Nov. 26) alerts us to a crisis affecting county jail inmates and correctional officer employees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics periodically lists America’s most dangerous jobs based upon the incidence of fatalities and serious injuries. Correctional officers are high on that list along with loggers, commercial fisherman, roofers and electrical linemen.

When jails are understaffed, the risk of assault for officers and inmates go up. Under normal circumstances, working in a jail setting is unpleasant at best. The short staffing in many of New Mexico’s county jails needs the attention of our Legislature before unnecessary tragedy become the norm for both persons serving a sentence and the officers who watch over them.

By Dr. Bob Larsen

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