Commission established at ISR
Mexico Sentencing Commission, a state agency, has been established
at the UNM Institute for Social Research (ISR) to study, compile
and release data on the effects of criminal sentencing on state
resources, programs and citizens.
Bill Richardson recently signed into law House Bill 510, which
states the commission will replace the ISRs New Mexico
Criminal and Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council (CJJCC),
but will fulfill and expand its activities.
to conducting research and analysis on criminal adult and juvenile
justice issues, the commission will report annually to the state
legislature on the fiscal and societal impact of sentencing
and the need for further reforms.
the New Mexico Sentencing Commission is a move to conform with
the rest of the country. There is a call for sentencing structure
to be more rational. The commission will make recommendations
to the legislature based on research data and what is proven
to work, said Michael Hall, the commissions executive
will also review proposed legislation that would create a new
criminal offense or change a classification or range in sentence.
joins 20 states complying with the American Law Institutes
request that states form sentencing commissions.
bipartisan commission has representation from corrections, law
enforcement, juvenile, legal, judicial and legislative agencies.
located at UNM gives us access to research tools, Hall
said, noting that graduate and undergraduate students take part
in research projects.
student staff has a unique opportunity to work on research projects
that have a direct impact on the states criminal and juvenile
justice systems. These are real-world projects, not just
classroom exercises, said Stephen Colby Phillips, UNM
existed since 1994. Nearly a decades worth of research,
including data and analysis on prison statistics, women inmates,
juvenile justice, treatment options and more, is available in
print and online. The New Mexico Criminal Justice Resource Directory
compiled in 2002 offers a comprehensive list of local, state,
tribal and federal criminal and juvenile justice contacts.
was called upon several weeks into the recent legislative session
to create a research booklet on DWI penalties, treatment and
were distributed to all the legislators and the research was
used to amend and revise the current DWI laws. It had a big
impact, Hall said.
Mexico Sentencing Commission will be officially operational
July 1. For more information on its initiatives, call 277-3494
or visit www.cjjcc.org.