New Mexico is advising on pre-trial detention hearing procedures

Law enforcement officials have urged New Mexico’s justice system to work harder to keep violent criminals in prison. Now the legislators of the countries are also demanding stricter guidelines. This starts when a person is arrested and charged with a crime. Public prosecutors have the opportunity to apply for pre-trial detention. This means that the person would have to remain in police custody pending their trial. A judge then has the option of granting or denying the request for pre-trial detention, depending on a list of circumstances. One of these is the Public Safety Assessment or Arnold tool. This tool takes a person’s criminal history and current allegations as risk factors and gives a public safety rating. In Solomon Peña’s public safety assessment, the tool recommends that he be released from prison, despite having already been convicted of a felony and charged with violent crimes. That means Peña would have to agree to certain conditions in order to be released before his trial if the judge follows that recommendation. State Senator Joseph Cervantes is among lawmakers considering possible changes to the instrument. “In Albuquerque, we have a problem with too many people getting fired who shouldn’t,” Cervantes said. “Often we hear from people being released based on the Arnold tool. We should really reconsider that a bit.” Cervantes also said that the tool is just a recommendation and the judges ultimately decide who will be held or released. KOAT will provide full coverage of Peña’s detention hearing.

Law enforcement officials have urged New Mexico’s justice system to work harder to keep violent criminals in prison. Now the state legislators are also demanding stricter guidelines.

It starts when a person is arrested and charged with a crime. Public prosecutors have the opportunity to apply for pre-trial detention. This means that the person would have to remain in police custody pending their trial. A judge then has the option of granting or denying the request for pre-trial detention, depending on a list of circumstances. One of these is the public safety assessment or Arnold tool.

This tool considers a person’s criminal history and current charges as risk factors and provides a public safety rating. In Solomon Peña’s public safety assessment, the tool recommends that he be released from prison, despite having already been convicted of a felony and charged with violent crimes. That means Peña would have to agree to certain conditions in order to be released before his trial if the judge follows that recommendation.

State Senator Joseph Cervantes is among lawmakers reviewing possible changes to the tool.

“In Albuquerque, we have a problem with too many people getting fired who shouldn’t,” Cervantes said. “Often we hear from people who have been fired based on the Arnold tool. We should really reconsider that.”

Cervantes also said that the tool is only a recommendation and the judges ultimately decide who will be held or released. KOAT will provide full coverage of Peña’s detention hearing.

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