Police & Prison

YOUNG AND INCARCERATED: Life sentences for people who aren’t yet 18

BY: - November 20, 2021

It’s a moment in Santana Serrano’s life — just a few seconds really — when she was a teenager that changed everything. Source NM’s Austin Fisher brings us this series. Fisher reported that the basics of her case were not in question: Two younger guys got in a fight down in Hobbs, N.M. Serrano was […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 5

BY: - November 16, 2021

GRANTS — When Santana Serrano first arrived at Western New Mexico Correctional Facility, she would call her mother crying. “Mom, I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this,” she recalled saying. “Please help me get me out. Do whatever you can. I can’t do it.” Her mother told her yes, she could. At […]

Biden signs executive order to address violence against Indigenous people

BY: - November 16, 2021

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday addressing violence against Indigenous communities. “These efforts are a matter of dignity,” Biden said during the opening ceremony for the White House Tribal Nations Summit. “That’s the foundation of our nation-to-nation partnership.” The executive order directs the departments of Justice, Interior, Homeland Security, and Health and […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 4

BY: - November 15, 2021

People who are under 18 but tried and convicted as adults and sentenced to life have to serve 30 years before being eligible for parole. New Mexico lawmakers are trying to cut that time in half.  Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Reps. Gail Chasey and Dayan Hochman-Vigil asked the Governor’s Office at the end of August […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 3

BY: - November 12, 2021

Data from the New Mexico prison system suggest a disproportionate number of incarcerated women are serving life sentences who were under the age of 18 when they committed their offenses. Young and incarcerated: Part 1 Overall, very few women are serving life sentences in New Mexico. Of the 446 people serving life sentences in the […]


Don’t make people enter the criminal legal system to access services

BY: - November 12, 2021

To promote its new Metro Crime Initiative, Mayor Tim Keller’s administration claims they are finding ways to better provide assistance to citizens in need. But in reality, Keller is setting up a system where people enter the criminal legal system in order to get access to mental health care, treatment for addiction and affordable housing. […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 2

BY: - November 11, 2021

Santana Serrano was convicted of murder, accused of helping her boyfriend kill another teenager when she was 17 years old. At trial, it was disputed whether she shared an intent to kill, and whether she handed him the gun or he grabbed it from her. Unless something changes, she won’t see outside the Grant’s women’s […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 1

BY: - November 10, 2021

One moment in a woman’s life when she was still a teenager might determine the rest of her future. Santana Serrano is serving a life sentence in the women’s prison in Grants for a murder committed by her then-boyfriend, DeAndre Gonzales. No one has disputed the fact that it was Gonzales and not Serrano who […]

FBI specialist translates info about MMIWR and hate crimes into Navajo

BY: - November 9, 2021

FBI agents in the Four Corners are adapting to Indigenous community needs by adopting traditional language specialists for field work that asks people for tips to help solve crimes.  Melinda Nakai (Diné) is an outreach specialist with the federal agency. Born in Gallup, N.M., she is also the first certified Navajo language translator with the […]


ABQ police union president makes a compelling case for defunding the department

BY: - November 9, 2021

Fall 2021 election season peaked, then dark-valleyed last week as pundits scurried to draw broader implications from local races. Much of that centered on initiatives spurred by the movement to defund police in favor of funding for public programs for preventing and repairing harms that feed the U.S. prison industry. A lot of attention fell […]


Why voters rejected plans to replace the Minneapolis Police Department

BY: - November 4, 2021

What have voters in Minneapolis rejected? The wording of the amendment was quite complicated. In essence, the amendment would have eliminated the existing police department in the city charter and replaced it with a Department of Public Safety charged with delivering “a comprehensive public health approach” to public safety, with the details of the new […]

All three Albuquerque mayoral candidates promise more police

BY: - October 27, 2021

While the three candidates for Albuquerque mayor have tried their best to differentiate themselves, there are at least two things they agree on: they say police are doing a good job, and they seek to put more money toward policing. Despite a historic protest movement last summer that called for the defunding of the Albuquerque […]