Changes to home detention program

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The Board of County Commissioners has changed its home detention program to work on a sliding cost scale.

This will allow “minimum security inmates and low-risk offenders” in lower income brackets to participate in the program more easily, which will open up space in the Socorro County Detention Center.

Jail Administrator Evangel Maldonado says that the goal of the home detention program is to “try to keep capacity a little bit low. We’re always over capacity.”

When the detention center is full, inmates are sent to other facilities nearby, and the county foots the bill — $52 per day, by Maldonado’s estimate, excluding medical costs.

Home detention is not entirely new to Socorro County; the system has been in place for a while, but Maldonado said, “It had to be revisited. The cost was high and people weren’t able to afford it.”

Previously, the system cost around $300 per month, but now there is a sliding scale. Inmates who are able to show “proof of income or unemployment” will pay as little as $100 per month.

Participating inmates will also be able to work up to 50 hours per week, minus transportation. All of these measures should make it easier for lower-income inmates to serve their sentences outside of the detention center, Maldonado said.

With everything in place and support from the judicial end of things, this should save the county some money and help alleviate the detention center’s capacity problems.