DEMING, N.M. — Luna County's Board of Commissioners heard an update from the Southwest Chapter of the New Mexico American Civil Liberties Union regarding the ongoing issues at the Luna County Detention Center during its most recent meeting.
The commission met Thursday, Sept. 9 for their monthly meeting. After considering a number of memorandums, resolutions and budget items, the commission opened the floor for public comment, during which Bill Hudson, a representative of the ACLU, spoke on his group's take on the issues at the detention center.
"In many ways we are pleased we see some hope and progress," Hudson said after informing the commission the ACLU toured the facility, which is located north of town on Fourth Street. "One thing, there is a real problem with the grievance procedure."
He said there is no record of grievance reports, to which Chairman Javier Diaz later replied saying the jail's personnel are "working on it."
He added that interim warden Mark Jasso makes regular visits throughout the jail to speak with each inmate on a one-on-one basis.
Hudson also said there are still issues with inmate diets. There have been ongoing complaints of not having proper meals in place for diabetics. During the meeting, Hudson took it a step further, to include the general population.
"There seems to be a great deficiency with fruits and vegetables," he added.
He detailed other areas of concern, such as allegations commissary orders are not filled, but said the group is pleased with the results that have occurred in a "short amount of time."
The commission also voted to approve entering into a memorandum of understanding with regional partners to continue work started by the Stronger Economies Together and Southwest New Mexico Energy and Green Jobs Task Force programs.
The MOU is between Luna, Grant and Hidalgo counties and various municipalities included in the region. The MOU is a first step to officially establish an "orderly" regional economic development process to benefit the region.
The SET program began in Oct. 2010 as a United States Department of Agriculture initiative to bolster economic development at the regional level with an emphasis on cross-communication and inter-governmental work.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman convened the Green Jobs Task Force in April 2010 to increase self-sufficiency, economic development and environmental protection.