Bill would allow pregnant, breastfeeding criminals to avoid jail time | KOB 4
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Bill would allow pregnant, breastfeeding criminals to avoid jail time

Megan Abundis
January 18, 2019 07:34 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A New Mexico senator wants to give pregnant inmates an out.

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Senate Bill 192 was first introduced by Republican Senator Lisa A. Torraco.

The bill did not pass during a previous legislative session. However, Democratic Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto wants to push it through this time around.

The bill would make judges take into account the pregnancy status of a criminal.

"This isn't a ‘Hey get pregnant, get out of jail free card,’" Ivey-Soto said.

However, opponents disagree. They believe it could cause the amount of pregnant woman incarcerated to rise and add to a judge's workload.

Proponents say women would have a chance for better neo-natal care outside of prison bars and breastfeeding would give better health benefits for the child.

“Recidivism rates go down tremendously if young mothers have a bond with their child,” Ivey-Soto said.

The judge would have a choice between releasing the pregnant inmate altogether or ordering them to be put on house arrest.

“If her charges were violent or some other reason that they wouldn't make sense for her to be coupled with the child then the judge would have the discretion to sentence her to normal sentencing guidelines,” said Lyssa Knudsen, a proponent on the bill.

How this bill is written, the judge would make the determination whether the inmate has to come back and make up the time or not. We reached out to the Republican party of New Mexico to get their take on it, and they declined to respond.

If passed, it would take effect July 1.

Track this SB-192 during the legislative session

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Megan Abundis

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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