2006 New Mexico Statutes - Section 33-2-34 — Eligibility for earned meritorious deductions.

33-2-34. Eligibility for earned meritorious deductions.

A.     To earn meritorious deductions, a prisoner confined in a correctional facility designated by the corrections department must be an active participant in programs recommended for the prisoner by the classification supervisor and approved by the warden or the warden's designee.  Meritorious deductions shall not exceed the following amounts: 

(1)     for a prisoner confined for committing a serious violent offense, up to a maximum of four days per month of time served; 

(2)     for a prisoner confined for committing a nonviolent offense, up to a maximum of thirty days per month of time served; 

(3)     for a prisoner confined following revocation of parole for the alleged commission of a new felony offense or for absconding from parole, up to a maximum of four days per month of time served during the parole term following revocation; and 

(4)     for a prisoner confined following revocation of parole for a reason other than the alleged commission of a new felony offense or absconding from parole: 

(a)     up to a maximum of eight days per month of time served during the parole term following revocation, if the prisoner was convicted of a serious violent offense or failed to pass a drug test administered as a condition of parole; or 

(b)     up to a maximum of thirty days per month of time served during the parole term following revocation, if the prisoner was convicted of a nonviolent offense.  

B.     A prisoner may earn meritorious deductions upon recommendation by the classification supervisor, based upon the prisoner's active participation in approved programs and the quality of the prisoner's participation in those approved programs.  A prisoner may not earn meritorious deductions unless the recommendation of the classification supervisor is approved by the warden or the warden's designee.  

C.     If a prisoner's active participation in approved programs is interrupted by a lockdown at a correctional facility, the prisoner may continue to be awarded meritorious deductions at the rate the prisoner was earning meritorious deductions prior to the lockdown, unless the warden or the warden's designee determines that the prisoner's conduct contributed to the initiation or continuance of the lockdown.  

D.     A prisoner confined in a correctional facility designated by the corrections department is eligible for lump-sum meritorious deductions as follows: 

(1)     for successfully completing an approved vocational, substance abuse or mental health program, one month; except when the prisoner has a demonstrable physical, mental health or developmental disability that prevents the prisoner from successfully earning a general education diploma, in which case, the prisoner shall be awarded three months; 

(2)     for earning a general education diploma, three months; 

(3)     for earning an associate's degree, four months; 

(4)     for earning a bachelor's degree, five months;  

(5)     for earning a graduate qualification, five months; and 

(6)     for engaging in a heroic act of saving life or property, engaging in extraordinary conduct for the benefit of the state or the public that is at great expense, risk or effort on behalf of the prisoner, or engaging in extraordinary conduct far in excess of normal program assignments that demonstrates the prisoner's commitment to self-rehabilitation.  The classification supervisor and the warden or the warden's designee may recommend the number of days to be awarded in each case based upon the particular merits, but any award shall be determined by the director of the adult institutions division of the corrections department or the director's designee.    

E.     Lump-sum meritorious deductions, provided in Paragraphs (1) through (6) of Subsection D of this section, may be awarded in addition to the meritorious deductions provided in Subsections A and B of this section.  Lump-sum meritorious deductions shall not exceed one year per award and shall not exceed a total of one year for all lump-sum meritorious deductions awarded in any consecutive  twelve-month period.  

F.     A prisoner is not eligible to earn meritorious deductions if the prisoner: 

(1)     disobeys an order to perform labor, pursuant to Section 33-8-4 NMSA 1978; 

(2)     is in disciplinary segregation; 

(3)     is confined for committing a serious violent offense and is within the first sixty days of receipt by the corrections department; or 

(4)     is not an active participant in programs recommended and approved for the prisoner by the classification supervisor.  

G.     The provisions of this section shall not be interpreted as providing eligibility to earn meritorious deductions from a sentence of life imprisonment or a sentence of death.  

H.     The corrections department shall promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this section, and the rules shall be matters of public record.  A concise summary of the rules shall be provided to each prisoner, and each prisoner shall receive a quarterly statement of the meritorious deductions earned.  

I.     A New Mexico prisoner confined in a federal or out-of-state correctional facility is eligible to earn meritorious deductions for active participation in programs on the basis of the prisoner's conduct and program reports furnished by that facility to the corrections department.  All decisions regarding the award and forfeiture of meritorious deductions at such facility are subject to final approval by the director of the adult institutions division of the corrections department or the director's designee. 

J.     In order to be eligible for meritorious deductions, a prisoner confined in a federal or out-of-state correctional facility designated by the corrections department must actively participate in programs that are available.  If a federal or out-of-state correctional facility does not have programs available for a prisoner, the prisoner may be awarded meritorious deductions at the rate the prisoner could have earned meritorious deductions if the prisoner had actively participated in programs.  

K.     A prisoner confined in a correctional facility in New Mexico that is operated by a private company, pursuant to a contract with the corrections department, is eligible to earn meritorious deductions in the same manner as a prisoner confined in a state-run correctional facility.  All decisions regarding the award or forfeiture of meritorious deductions at such facilities are subject to final approval by the director of the adult institutions division of the corrections department or the director's designee.  

L.     As used in this section: 

(1)     "active participant" means a prisoner who has begun, and is regularly engaged in, approved programs; 

(2)     "program" means work, vocational, educational, substance abuse and mental health programs, approved by the classification supervisor, that contribute to a prisoner's self-betterment through the development of personal and occupational skills.  "Program" does not include recreational activities; 

(3)     "nonviolent offense" means any offense other than a serious violent offense; and 

(4)     "serious violent offense" means: 

(a)     second degree murder, as provided in Section 30-2-1 NMSA 1978; 

(b)     voluntary manslaughter, as provided in Section 30-2-3 NMSA 1978; 

(c)     third degree aggravated battery, as provided in Section 30-3-5 NMSA 1978; 

(d)     third degree aggravated battery against a household member, as provided in Section 30-3-16 NMSA 1978; 

(e)     first degree kidnapping, as provided in Section 30-4-1 NMSA 1978; 

(f)     first and second degree criminal sexual penetration, as provided in Section 30-9-11 NMSA 1978; 

(g)     second and third degree criminal sexual contact of a minor, as provided in Section 30-9-13 NMSA 1978; 

(h)     first and second degree robbery, as provided in Section 30-16-2 NMSA 1978; 

(i)     second degree aggravated arson, as provided in Section 30-17-6 NMSA 1978; 

(j)     shooting at a dwelling or occupied building, as provided in Section 30-3-8 NMSA 1978; 

(k)     shooting at or from a motor vehicle, as provided in Section 30-3-8 NMSA 1978; 

(l)     aggravated battery upon a peace officer, as provided in Section 30-22-25 NMSA 1978; 

(m)     assault with intent to commit a violent felony upon a peace officer, as provided in Section 30-22-23 NMSA 1978; 

(n)     aggravated assault upon a peace officer, as provided in Section 30-22-22 NMSA 1978; and 

(o)     any of the following offenses, when the nature of the offense and the resulting harm are such that the court judges the crime to be a serious violent offense for the purpose of this section:  1) involuntary manslaughter, as provided in Section 30-2-3 NMSA 1978; 2) fourth degree aggravated assault, as provided in Section  30-3-2 NMSA 1978; 3) third degree assault with intent to commit a violent felony, as provided in Section 30-3-3 NMSA 1978; 4) fourth degree aggravated assault against a household member, as provided in Section 30-3-13 NMSA 1978; 5) third degree assault against a household member with intent to commit a violent felony, as provided in Section 30-3-14 NMSA 1978; 6) third and fourth degree aggravated stalking, as provided in Section 30-3A-3.1 NMSA 1978; 7) second degree kidnapping, as provided in Section 30-4-1 NMSA 1978; 8) second degree abandonment of a child, as provided in Section 30-6-1 NMSA 1978; 9) first, second and third degree abuse of a child, as provided in Section 30-6-1 NMSA 1978; 10) third degree dangerous use of explosives, as provided in Section 30-7-5 NMSA 1978; 11) third and fourth degree criminal sexual penetration, as provided in Section 30-9-11 NMSA 1978; 12) fourth degree criminal sexual contact of a minor, as provided in Section 30-9-13 NMSA 1978; 13) third degree robbery, as provided in Section 30-16-2 NMSA 1978; 14) third degree homicide by vehicle or great bodily injury by vehicle, as provided in Section 66-8-101 NMSA 1978; and 15) battery upon a peace officer, as provided in Section 30-22-24 NMSA 1978.  

M.     Except for sex offenders, as provided in Section 31-21-10.1 NMSA 1978, an offender sentenced to confinement in a correctional facility designated by the corrections department who has been released from confinement and who is serving a parole term may be awarded earned meritorious deductions of up to thirty days per month upon recommendation of the parole officer supervising the offender, with the final approval of the adult parole board.  The offender must be in compliance with all the conditions of the offender's parole to be eligible for earned meritorious deductions.  The adult parole board may remove earned meritorious deductions previously awarded if the offender later fails to comply with the conditions of the offender's parole.  The corrections department and the adult parole board shall promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this subsection.  This subsection applies to offenders who are serving a parole term on or after July 1, 2004.  

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