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Metropolitan Detention Center

New Technology to Improve County Detention Operations


The Bernalillo County Commission has approved the first phase of funding for a new jail management system for the Metropolitan Detention Center and Youth Services Center.

Commissioners greenlighted approximately $2.2 million toward the purchase and operation of the new jail management system, replacing the current 20-year-old computer technology used at both the Metropolitan Detention Center and Youth Services Center.

“The safety of our corrections officers and inmates is always our highest priority at MDC and this new state-of-the-art system gives jail staff the tools they need to protect the safety of everyone in the facility,” says County Commission Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins. In addition, the new technology ensures that Bernalillo County continues to meet its legal obligations in detaining and releasing inmates appropriately as directed by the courts.”

The new jail management system will:

  • Organize inmate profiles containing personal, criminal and historical information
  • Utilize state-of-the art, handheld scanning technology
  • Allow instant data transfer
  • Build complete data bases at all detention facilities using established biomarkers (i.e.; fingerprints or retina scans)
  • Capability to interface with Metro and District courts and the City of Albuquerque


“This new technology will automatically update current practices and allow us to be more efficient by saving time and budget,” says MDC Chief of Corrections Ralph Fernandez.

Youth Services Center Director Craig Sparks says the new management system will free up time used for recordkeeping and allow counselors to spend more time with program youth. “YSC’s mission is to provide the youth placed in our custody with a safe, secure and humane environment. Embracing new technology helps us in our never-ending dedication to that goal by providing a more efficient operating system,” says Sparks.

In total, the project is expected to cost Bernalillo County approximately $5.5 million.

The new jail management system is expected to be rolled out at the Youth Services Center beginning in March. That process is anticipated to take about six months. Once completed, implementation will begin at MDC, which is expected to take about one year to complete.

The County Commission approved the management system purchase at its Jan. 22 meeting by a 5-0 vote.

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