Effectively immediately, pregnant women and children can't be held in solitary, and beginning in November prisons and jails will start publicly reporting how many people are being held in solitary. Insufficient data has for years frustrated lawmakers’ ability to understand the scale at which solitary confinement is used in the state’s jails and prisons.
State Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, co-sponsor of House Bill 364 during the legislative session that concluded in March, sent a letter to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration which run the 33 county jails across New Mexico, reminding them of the new statute’s requirements.
Among the changes is the state’s first universal definition for solitary confinement: holding someone in a cell alone for 22 or more hours a day “without daily, meaningful and sustained human interaction.”