Legislature: Early Probation Release Bill Passes House


Legislation granting an early end to probation for low-risk, compliant probationers passed the House of Representatives today. 

Sponsored by Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena (D-Mesilla), House Bill 201 allows defendants placed on probation, who are classified as minimum to medium-level risk and have successfully completed all the obligations of one-half or more of their probationary period, to receive an automatic termination of their probation at that point. This change would reduce costs and caseloads for the overburdened New Mexico Corrections Department’s Probation and Parole Division, provide added incentive for probationers to comply with supervision conditions, and reallocate resources for higher-need offenders. 

“HB 201 provides a common-sense, unbiased approach to making meaningful reforms in our probation system for the sake of both our state agencies and those in the system.” said Rep. Cadena. “This legislation provides strong encouragement for probationers to succeed under their period of supervision and allows them to focus on their rehabilitation and employment or education, instead of continuing long-term restrictions that often impede their ability to fully contribute to society.”

“Our agency is grateful to Representative Cadena for bringing this important legislation forward,” said New Mexico Corrections Department Cabinet Secretary Alisha Tafoya Lucero. “This probation reform bill is a crucial step in the process of enacting meaningful justice reform in New Mexico. This bill incentivizes early success on supervision for minimum and medium level individuals and ensures that staff resources are concentrated where they belong, on high risk and high needs offenders that require closer supervision within our communities.”

Sex offenders, people convicted of violent crimes, and felony level DUI/DWI offenders would not be eligible for early discharge under this House Bill 201. 

HB 201 passed the House with 64-1 vote and will now advance to the Senate for consideration. 

Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.