Skip to content

Many New Mexicans are being told to stay at home and distance themselves from others to minimize the cases of COVID-19 in the state. But that’s not an option for those stuck in the incarceration system, who usually have close contact with each other in tight spaces. Expanding on an earlier episode, this conversation is all about the dangers that these inmates face – as well as the staff who oversee them, and the community at large.

We start our conversation with Jeff Proctor from the Santa Fe Reporter and New Mexico In Depth. He tells us how New Mexico is responsible for the well-being and healthcare of inmates in its care, as well as how the state is lacking in both testing and releasing inmates per the Governor’s executive order.

Next up, MariaElena Lopez talks about her brother, who caught COVID-19 just before his incarceration at the Bernallio Metropolitan Detention Center. She sheds some light on her warnings to the center’s staff as well as their alleged negligence to tell her brother that he tested positive for the virus.

Lalita Moskowitz, an attorney for the ACLU gives us insight into the state’s Supreme Court denying a petition for the release of some incarcerated inmates, what she thinks of it, and who they were hoping to get released.

Monique Valdez’s husband is incarcerated in Santa Rosa. She gives us perspective on the changes that COVID-19 has brought for inmates there, and her concerns for both her husband and others behind the walls.

Finally, Eva Buschwald is a school social worker that has worked the majority of her career in juvenile defense. She emphasizes her concern about the incarcerated youth as COVID-19 cases surge outside and inside the correctional system.

And a news update: Last week, another 3.2 million people in the U.S. filed for unemployment. In total, about one-fifth of the U.S. workforce is out of work, according to the BBC.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—the CDC—drafted detailed guidelines for reopening states, according to the New York Times, but the Trump administration blocked them from being published, calling them “overly prescriptive”.

Doctors in New York say blood thinners help increase the chances for survival with COVID patients, the Washington Post reports.

In New Mexico, the lockdown in Gallup is extended until Sunday at noon at the request of the city’s mayor. And all residents are required to wear masks when they go to businesses, according to KOB. It’s still too early to know whether the lockdown is helping slow the spread there, according to Health and Human Services Cabinet Secretary David Scrase.

There are 204 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today, making the total 4,493, according to the Santa Fe Reporter. Officials also report three deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities here to 172.

Albuquerque police are busting people who are in city parks after hours, and since the start of the pandemic, have issued 58 citations, according to KOAT.

We’re keeping a full list of the resources and volunteer opportunities that we find for each episode at bit.ly./YNMGhub. And here’s what we got from today.

How are things going for you? We want to know. Share your quarantine stories by calling: (505) 218-7084 and leaving us a message. We could roll them into a future episode.


Your New Mexico Government is a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS, and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage is provided, in part, by the Thornburg Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the New Mexico Local News Fund.