Metropolitan Detention Center

Metropolitan Detention Center/Youth Services Center Outline Steps to Minimize COVID-19 Impact on Staff and Inmates


Officials at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) have put the following guidelines in place to help to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 Virus.

MDC has temporarily discontinued all in-person visits to the secure area of the facility. This restriction applies to all non-essential security personnel, including any outside groups and/or volunteers. In addition, visits in the front area of the facility are temporarily discontinued.

  • Classes at the Gordon Bernell Charter have been cancelled.
  • Inmates will continue to have access to the tablets, telephone, and mail for contact with their attorneys and families. MDC is actively working to expand remote visitation through the tablets. MDC will keep the public notified on this progress.
  • The visiting restrictions are consistent with measures taken by other facilities across the state. MDC intends for these restrictions to be in place for three (3) weeks, however, MDC will assess these restrictions on a weekly basis
  • Phone visits are still allowed.

“Thus far, MDC has not experienced any positive results for COVID-19,” says MDC Chief Ralph Fernandez. "MDC is currently screening inmates as they arrive and has been doing so since Feb. 13. Over 2000 people have been screened to date.”

  • Newly arriving inmates are screened for symptoms and current healthcare guidelines are followed. Any inmate that is suspect will be reported to the state Department of Health for determination for testing to be followed. MDC will follow DOH protocols.
  • MDC will pay close attention to its older population and those with underlying health problems.
  • MDC continues to follow established infection prevention and control guidelines to prevent the spread of emerging infectious diseases. MDC provides information, education, and screening. MDC has airborne isolation rooms available to utilize as needed. MDC also has identified two PODS (living areas) where male and female inmates can be housed and quarantined if the need arises.
  • In addition, MDC is reviewing and updating our pandemic plan. In the event of a positive test result, the patient will be assessed and appropriate housing and treatment will be determined by the medical team, including the DOH.


Officials at the BernCo Youth Services Center (YSC) have put the following guidelines in place to help to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 Virus.

  • Face-to-face visitation has been cancelled. Phone visits are being expanded for families with more calls than were allowed before.
  • Volunteer activities are cancelled.
  • Limited access is being made for juvenile probation officers, defense attorneys and other professional visitors but they are being encouraged to utilize phone contact whenever possible.
  • Due to Albuquerque Public Schools being closed, classes at YSC are also cancelled.

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About Bernalillo County

Bernalillo County is 1,160 square miles and is New Mexico’s most populous county with more than 676,000 residents. Bernalillo County government provides a wide range of public services to residents who live in Albuquerque, Los Ranchos, and Tijeras and the 111,000 residents who live outside the village and city limits in the unincorporated areas of the county. Bernalillo County employs approximately 2,500 people and has an annual operating budget and capital investments of more than $650 million. Elected officials include five county commissioners, assessor, clerk, probate judge, sheriff, and treasurer.


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