New Mexico House passes justice and parole reforms

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The New Mexico House of Representatives has passed two criminal justice reform bills aimed at reducing recidivism and better integrating prison inmates back into society.

The votes on Sunday by the House sent the initiatives to the Democrat-controlled Senate for consideration.

One far-reaching initiative from Democratic Rep. Antonio Maestas of Albuquerque would create a framework for counseling and addiction treatment to help prison inmates make the transition back to their communities. Other provisions address drug-overdose situations to provide some immunity from prosecution for people who call in medical professionals.

A second bill would provide new approaches to probation and parole programs. It would require parole after 30 years of incarceration for life sentences unless the state Parole Board decides otherwise.

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