Local and state officials expressed concerned Monday over the New Mexico Corrections Department’s consideration to close the local probation and parole office.
“The department is looking into the closure of the existing office in Tucumcari,” said Tia Bland, spokeswoman for the New Mexico Corrections Department.
Bland said the closure of the office would increase efficiency within the department. She declined to comment further on how the closure of the office would increase efficiency.
Bland said the office serves 80 offenders in Quay County. She said the department would still supervise the offenders if the office is closed.
“A system of supervision is being worked on,” Bland said.
Tenth Judicial District Judge Albert J. Mitchell will have a closed meeting Tuesday morning with the state’s director of probation and parole Charlene Knitsing.
Mitchell was in court and not available immediately for comment. He said he would contact the Quay County Sun after his meeting with Knitsing.
State Rep. Dennis Roch said he also tried to contact the state’s correction department on Friday. He said he was still waiting for a response on Monday.
“This was brought to my attention by Quay County Manager Richard Primrose,” Roch said. “This issue has raised several concerns which need to be addressed.”
Roch said those concerns include public safety and the ongoing rehabilitation of the residents the office currently serves.
Primrose said the people on probation or parole could possibly have to travel outside the county to report.
“Many of the people on probation or parole have jobs. An hour or two to check normally would become a whole day ordeal for them,” Primrose said.