Criminal Diversion, Child Abuse Bill Becomes Law and El Malpais Trees Update | 3.14.22

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The District Attorney for New Mexico’s largest county says public defenders are not taking advantage of a criminal diversion program as often as they should. Our Line Opinion Panelists discuss the merits of that accusation, the effectiveness of the program and why some people charged with crimes might not want to participate.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is considering a new bill that would change the way the state handles child abuse and neglect cases. Some child welfare activists are in favor, but many are opposed. The Line Opinion Panel debates the potential impacts of the bill, while addressing the systemic issues for children caught inside our state’s legal system.

Remember last year's news reports that someone was illegally cutting alligator junipers in one of New Mexico's national monuments? Today, Our Land Correspondent Laura Paskus talks with Eric Weaver, Natural Resources Branch Chief for El Malpais and El Morro National Monuments. They'll discuss some special trees, including alligator junipers, but also ancient douglas firs and junipers, ponderosas and aspens - and why they matter.

Correspondents:

Gene Grant

Laura Paskus

Guests:

Eric Weaver, natural resources branch chief, El Malpais/El Morro National Monuments

Line Opinion Panelists:

Edmund Perea, attorney/legal and public safety analyst

Michael Bird, fmr. president of the American Public Health Association

Julie Ann Grimm, editor, Santa Fe Reporter

For More Information:

New Mexico Lawyers Spar Over Criminal Diversion Program – Associated Press

Pre-Prosecution Diversion Program Offers Support to Reduce Recidivism - KRQE

Santa Fe’s Diversion Program for People With Addictions Has Dwindled – Santa Fe Reporter

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