In episode 76, we discuss criminal justice reform, from policing to prisons. We get a preview of the Albuquerque mayor and a city councilor plans to remake the public safety system. A criminal justice reporter tells us about COVID-19 in state prisons and reminds us that there is little race or ethnicity data to show us who is affected. But first, Your New Mexico Government Executive Producer Marisa Demarco tells us what it was like to be at a protest this week where someone she knows was shot by a man trying to protect a statue of a genocidal Spanish conquistador.

Demarco describes the scene at the tense demonstration at the Juan de Oñate statue near the Albuquerque Museum on Monday, June 15, where a protester—a longtime friend of hers—was shot.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and the city's Chief Administrative Officer Sarita Nair discuss addressing public safety with a community focused response. They say there are other ways for public safety officers to engage that do not require militarized police.

Jeff Proctor, contributing editor at  the Santa Fe Reporter and criminal justice reporter at New Mexico In Depth, has been following the story of COVID-19 in New Mexico prisons. Proctor said an unknown number of people are at risk of contracting the coronavirus in prison because they are incarcerated for non-violent crimes like marijuana possession, an offense that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has lobbied to decriminalize.

Albuquerque City Council President Pat Davis tells us it is not always appropriate for police to respond to an incident. He says there are duties Albuquerque Police are doing that could be better handled by other experts, like those who specialize in homelessness or social work.

We're keeping a complete list of the resources and volunteer opportunities that we find for each episode at And here's what we got from today: Check out Jeff Proctor's article "It Makes No Sense" covering the rise of COVID-19 cases in New Mexico's prisons and the Governor's response; read Rolling Stone magazine's article on Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's tactics for fighting coronavirus, including the fight for federal resources.

A protest is planned Thursday night in Santa Fe, where city officials on Wednesday reversed course and said the city's monuments to conquest should come down.

Where you at the protest at the Albuquerque Museum. Doing OK? Do you have opinions on best ways to remake police departments? Do you agree or disagree with Pat Davis or Tim Keller on police reform? We want to know. Share your thoughts by calling: (505) 218-7084 and leaving us a message. We may include them in 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.