New Mexico moves forward with bail reforms

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico’s judiciary is taking final steps toward overhauling its bail and pretrial detention system by adopting detailed rules for determining whether defendants remain in jail as they awaiting judgment.

The Supreme Court on Monday issued comprehensive procedures for district, metropolitan, magistrate, municipal and appellate courts to determine if and when defendants can be released.

New Mexico has joined a growing number of states in adopting risk-based approaches to releasing defendants that put less emphasis on money and bail.

New Mexico voters approved a constitutional amendment in November allowing judges to deny bail to defendants considered extremely dangerous. The constitutional amendment also granted pretrial release to those who are not considered a threat but remain in jail because they can’t afford bail.

The new procedures go into effect July 1.