Doña Ana County



Santa Fe, New Mexico � The New Mexico Association of Counties (NMAC) and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) held �Jails as Part of County Government�, a 3-day seminar involving teams of officials from New Mexico counties to examine the role of jails as part of county government.

The seminar was attended by officials from Bernalillo, Colfax, Dona Ana, Lincoln, Luna, and Roosevelt Counties. County commissioners, county managers and jail administrators each play an important role in ensuring that county jail operations are conducted in a safe, secure, humane and legal manner. In working with teams of county officials, the seminar aimed to educate participants about the role of jails, their resource needs, and how each official plays a unique role in achieving the characteristics of a �good� jail. The seminar involved exercises to enhance participants� understanding of each other�s role in county governance and opportunities for collaboration among their respective offices.

Seminar participants included Bernalillo County�s Ramon Rustin, Chief of Corrections, Metropolitan Detention Center and Tom Swisstack, Public Safety Manager; Colfax County�s Landon Newton, County Commissioner, Cheryl Navarette, Assistant County Manager, and Gabriel Sandoval, Detention Administrator; Dona Ana County�s Karen Perez, Commissioner, Sue Padilla, County Manager, and Chris Barela, Detention Warden; Roosevelt County�s Rick Leal, Commissioner, Jena Wilbanks, Administrative Assistant, and David Casanova, Detention Administrator; Lincoln County�s Jackie Powell, Commissioner, Nita Taylor, County Manager, and Arthur Anderson, Detention Warden; and Luna County�s Javier Diaz, County Commissioner, Kelly Kuenstler, County Manager, and Matthew Elwell, Detention Administrator.

�The seminar�s goal is to educate county officials about jails as a function of county government,� said NIC Program Specialist Panda Adkins. NMAC Executive Director Paul Gutierrez said, �NMAC places great importance on the safe and efficient management of New Mexico�s jails. The NIC seminar helped officials to identify the role of collaboration in achieving better jails,� said NMAC Executive Director Paul Gutierrez.

Founded in 1968, the New Mexico Association of Counties is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization governed by New Mexico county elected officials and employees. Its mission is to serve as a statewide voice for all counties in New Mexico. It accomplishes this by providing counties with legislative representation, general research, and training and assistance in developing and improving the administration and financing of county government. The Association offers insurance pools to counties covering worker's compensation and property, casualty and liability insurance. Various publications and conferences assist county officials in carrying out the duties of their office. NMAC is an advocate for county government.

Please contact Paul Gutierrez at 505.250.7749 or or Sal Baragiola at 505.259.8206 or for more information. For additional information about NMAC, please visit the website at