Difference Between New Mexico Prison and Federal Prison

What is the Difference Between Federal Prison and New Mexico State Prison?

The United States prison system has the highest inmate population globally. This population is distributed between the 1,719 state prisons and the 122 federal prisons in the system. One of those state prison systems is the New Mexico prison system. It comprises correctional and detention facilities that house state criminal law violators. In contrast, facilities under the federal prison system house individuals convicted of committing federal crimes; usually, white-collar crimes.

The New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) manages the facilities in the New Mexico prison system. At the same time, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) oversees the correctional and detention facilities' activities in the federal prison system. These agencies document every inmate's history in the criminal justice system. Following the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), they grant public access to this information through online inmate lookup systems.

The New Mexico Prison System

Unlike federal prisons, the New Mexico state prison system is managed by state authorities, specifically the New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD). The department controls the correctional facilities where inmates charged with violating state laws such as murder, rape, and gun-related offenses, are incarcerated.

New Mexico state prisons are equipped with programs and activities to rehabilitate non-violent offenders. Tax money generated by the state typically funds these correctional facilities; therefore, their operations are subject to state laws.

How to Lookup an Inmate in New Mexico

Per the New Mexico Public Records Act, the correctional facilities maintain an offender database that provides necessary inmate information to the public on request. Interested members of the public may obtain New Mexico inmate records by querying the department via email or in person at

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1059
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-1059

Physical Address:
4311 State Highway 14
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508
Phone: (505) 827-8201
Fax: (505) 827-8283

The NMCD's Offender Search provides details about offenders incarcerated within the system, offenders on probation, and offenders under parole supervision. An inquirer must have an offender's first/last name and NMCD identification number to search the database successfully. The database provides accurate and timely information because it is updated daily. If any information must be verified, the inquirer must contact the Probation and Parole Office or the specific correctional institution where the offender is incarcerated.

The New Mexico state prison system constitutes six state-owned and five privately-owned correctional facilities and prisons:

State-run facilities
Central New Mexico Correctional Facility -- Level I
3201 Highway 314 SouthWest
Los Lunas, NM 87031
Phone: (505) 865-2728

Central New Mexico Correctional Facility -- Level II
1525 Morris Road
P.O. Drawer 1328
Los Lunas, NM 87031
Phone: (505) 383-3359

Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility
185 Dr. Michael Jenkins Road
Clayton, NM 88415
Phone: (575) 374-4005
Fax: (575) 374-4010

Penitentiary of New Mexico
4311 State Highway 14
P.O. Box 1059
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1059
Phone: (505) 827-8201
Fax: (505) 827-8283

Roswell Correctional Center
578 West Chickasaw Road
Hagerman, NM 88232
Phone: (575) 625-3100
Fax: (575) 625-3190

Springer Correctional Center
P.O. Box 10
Springer, NM 87747
Phone: (575) 483-3100
Fax: (575) 483-5030

Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility
1983 Joe R. Silva Boulevard
P.O. Box 639
Las Cruces, NM 88004-0639
Phone: (575) 523-3200
Fax: (575) 523-3349

Western New Mexico Correctional Facility
P.O. Drawer 250
Grants, NM 87020
Phone: (505) 876-8300
Fax: (505) 876-8200
Private-run facilities

Guadalupe County Correctional Facility
1039 Agua Negra Road
P.O. Box 520
Santa Rosa, NM 88435
Phone: (575) 472-1001
Fax: (575) 472-1006

Lea County Correctional Facility
6900 West Millen
Hobbs, NM 88244
Phone: (575) 392-4055
Fax: (575) 392-2237

Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center
1700 East Old Highway 66
P.O. Box 800
Grants, NM 87020
Phone: (505) 287-2941
Fax: (505) 285-6828

Otero County Prison Facility
10 McGregor Range Road
Chaparral, NM 88081
Phone: (575) 824-4884
Fax: (575) 824-3158

Inmates incarcerated within these facilities are allowed specific types of communication with friends and family. For example, friends and family can visit, call, and send money to inmates in New Mexico prisons. They can send funds to an inmate using a United States Postal Money Order made payable to the inmate, with the individual's full name and identification number. The money will be deposited into the inmate's account after the facility receives the complete money order.

New Mexico County Jails

New Mexico has 33 counties and 27 adult county jails. The county agencies or municipal agencies manage the adult county jails. The jails are primarily detention facilities designed to hold individuals accused of committing crimes and awaiting trial. Other times, a significant part of the inmate population in New Mexico county jails are suspects who have been denied bail or are unable to make bail. These detention facilities also hold convicted criminals. However, unlike state prisons that generally house violent offenders, county jails in New Mexico house offenders convicted of minor crimes or misdemeanors with a jail sentence of a year or less.

County jails are not under the New Mexico Department of Corrections' jurisdiction, so information about the prisoners incarcerated within them is not accessible from the department's Inmate Records Unit. Instead, information on these prisoners is obtainable by request to the facility's staff at the institution where the inmate is held. Also, most county agencies, specifically the sheriffs' offices, maintain online inmate rosters on their websites. These inmate rosters show an offender's arrest information, booking, mugshot, bail details, case number, etc.

How Does the Federal Prison System Work?

The federal prison system constitutes 122 prison facilities that house over 190,000 offenders. These facilities are managed and controlled by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), a federal law enforcement agency under the Department of Justice.

Through the correctional institutions under its control, the agency also attempts to reduce the federal crime rate by ensuring that federal offenders participate in rehabilitative programs to help them develop a crime-free lifestyle when they return to society.

The BOP-operated correctional institutions or detention centers are operated in four security levels, including:

  • Minimum facility prisons, also called Federal Prison Camps (FPCs)
  • Low and medium prison facilities, also called Federal Correctional Institutions (FCIs)
  • High facility prisons, also called United States Penitentiaries (USPs)

The federal prison camps typically hold non-violent offenders such as drug offenders, fraudsters, money launderers, etc. In contrast, high facility prisons are used to incarcerate offenders deemed violent to themselves and society under federal law.

Prisoners in the federal prison system can be located via the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator. Inquirers can find inmates by searching the database in the following ways: