Nonviolent Offender Interventions

An act relating to behavioral health; providing for interventions for nonviolent offenders who have behavioral health diagnoses in ways likely to reduce recidivism, detention and incarceration.

Bill Highlights

  • House Bill 160 (HB160) would amend the powers and duties of the Human Services Department’s (HSD) Behavioral Health Services Division (BHSD) pertaining to nonviolent adult and juvenile offenders who have behavioral health diagnoses. The bill would require BHSD to create, implement, and evaluate for effectiveness a framework for targeted, individualized interventions that address those individuals’ behavioral health needs and connect them to resources and services that reduce the likelihood of recidivism, detention, and incarceration. Such services may include supportive housing, public assistance, medical assistance, behavioral health therapy and employment training. (source: NMLegis.gov)
  • This bill also aims to address substance abuse issues that nonviolent offenders may have.
  • The Governor vetoed this bill with the following explanation: “As I have said previously, although I understand the intent of this legislation and support meaningful efforts to reduce recidivism, this bill is unnecessary and burdensome. The Behavioral Health Services Division of the Human Services Department (“BHSD”) already provides the types of services contemplated by House Bill 160 (“HB 160”) to many justice-involved adults. Additionally, the broad, undefined language utilized in HB 160—combined with the requirement that the BHSD create, implement, and continually evaluate a statewide framework—results in an unfunded mandate on the BHSD.”
  • Viante New Mexico supports this bill because it is a comprehensive approach to helping rehabilitate a nonviolent offender to be a productive member of society, contributing to the labor force participation, potentially reducing recidivism.


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