2 inmates die this month at MDC

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – So far this year, two people have died while in custody of New Mexico’s largest jail.

Now, there are questions about not only how this all could happen, but what’s being done to prevent this from happening to more inmates?  

After experiencing major hiring issues in the last few months, the Metropolitan Detention Center says they are trending upward in staff numbers.

“We are at 54%” said Larry Gallegos, MDC communication services specialist. 

MDC is operating at just a little over 50% of staff needed to run the detention center with an average of 1,500 inmates occupying MDC daily.

Two inmate deaths have happened in the last month, the latest on Monday. Could fixing staffing issues help prevent these deaths?

“We would love to be 100% staffed. I mean, who wouldn’t? Everybody would love to have that situation,” said Gallegos. 

While MDC says extra staffing always helps across the board for many situations, including the medical staff. 

MDC says the medical staff is contracted out through a different company along with their hiring — this company’s only been with MDC for a little over a year.

Right now, their numbers are reportedly low too.

“I think we’re at about 50% on their staff too,” Gallegos said. 

Since the pandemic, MDC reported that there have been 20 inmate deaths in total. With under staffing still plaguing the detention center, the hopes are of bringing more staff in to help MDC run better.

“If you could have more people working on the medical side, people can be watched a little easier,” said Gallegos.