CYFD New Mexico Juvenile Justice Services
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Download the JJS FAQs
Important Numbers (Information Provided in English and Spanish):
New Mexico Department of Health Hotline: 1-855-600-3453 (Available 24/7)
Resource Hotline - 1-833-551-0518
Q: Does my child have to appear in person for their juvenile delinquency hearing?
A: Yes. If a child has a juvenile delinquency hearing, their presence in person will be required but family/youth should contact the Public Defender or child's delinquency attorney for updates on Court hearings. Please keep monitoring updates from the judiciary and CYFD. Please also review our Juvenile Justice FAQ’s for more information on how the Juvenile Justice Division is operating right now.
For specific information about your court cases, please contact your Children's Court Attorney or Guardian ad litem. Please also visit nmcourts.gov for additional information.
Q: Are Family Court appointments still taking place?
A: At this time, certain non-urgent court appointments have been postponed. Court visits may take place via teleconference or videoconference. Where in person hearings are necessary (where time limits are at issue) the court will practice Social Distancing.
Young children are not permitted into courts at this time. Youth who are scheduled for discharge hearings are encouraged to appear in court with their youth attorney but may choose to appear via videoconference.
No one should attend court in person if they are showing signs of illness or meeting high risk criteria as outlined by the Department of Health. High-risk criteria include health concerns such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol or any condition or treatment that compromises the immune system. Telephonic appearances are permitted in this circumstance.
Families are encouraged to visit nmcourts.gov to locate specific information for the courts with which they have contact.
Juvenile Probation Questions
Q: Are Juvenile Probation Offices open?
A: By appointment only. As a precautionary measure to limit in-person contact, offices are currently open by appointment only. We are only allowing one family into an office at a time to minimize potential exposure. This measure is being taken as an overabundance of caution to keep families and children healthy and safe.
Q: Am I required to continue visiting with my Juvenile Probation Officer?
A: Yes, visits will continue in the office setting. You can also expect to receive field contacts by your JPO, however they will implement the following precautionary measures to prevent virus transmission during each visit:
JPOs have been directed to wash their hands regularly and at least immediately before and after each visit and to use hand sanitizer. They will ask you to do so, as well.
During visits, JPO’s will utilize ‘social distancing’. This involves maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet between any two individuals at all times. Social distancing has been shown to be effective at reducing the transmission of the virus in countries and communities where it is being implemented right now.
JPO’s will also follow any other precautionary measures that are outlined by the New Mexico Department of Health.
The following are the directions workers have received:
- Before initiating a visit of any type, JPOs must ask questions about the health, age and travel history of people with whom they are visiting.
- In cases where an individual has traveled outside of the country, visits will not take place until the person(s) have contacted the New Mexico Department of Health and followed the protocols they are given.
- In cases where an individual is at increased risk for complications from COVID-19, based on age and health conditions, JPOs will visit with the child without that individual present.
- JPOs have been instructed to conduct visits in community as often as possible so that they can practice social distancing. Office visits are only happening as exceptions at this time.
- When visiting, JPOs have been instructed to wash hands and use hand sanitizer before approaching and after the visit is completed.
- Whenever possible, visits are to happen in the community and in areas where social distancing can be best practiced.
- JPOs will instruct you and those with whom you reside on the protocols of social distancing, hand washing, cleaning “high touch” surfaces such as door handles, faucets, telephones, and providing you with the attached posters for reference.
- All staff in our offices are implementing social distancing with colleagues. Those who can complete their work from home are currently doing so, limiting the number of people in the office at any given time. Under exceptional circumstances where office visits must happen, visiting rooms are being cleaned after each visit and at the end of the day with enhanced regimens.
- Staff who have traveled are following the direction from DOH regarding self isolation or quarantine. Workers are told to stay home if they are ill.
Q: What should I do if my child or someone in the family is sick and needing to report to JPO?
A: Call the New Mexico Department of Health Hotline at 1-855-600-3453. Follow their recommendations and then contact the primary JPO to advise them of the situation and to receive guidance from them.
Juvenile Detention Questions
Q: Will I be allowed to visit my child in a CYFD Juvenile Justice facility?
A: Most detention centers throughout the State of New Mexico are limiting visitation to telephonic visits and are not allowing any physical visits between parents/guardians and young people who are currently incarcerated. At this time, no visits are taking place at CYFD secure facilities.
As we continue to monitor and evaluate the information that we receive regarding COVID-19, we will make appropriate determinations regarding visitation. If you have questions, please contact your child’s case manager.
Q: Is my child receiving appropriate medical oversight to protect them from this virus?
A: Facilities are taking extra precautions, conducting more frequent cleanings and wiping down frequently used surfaces. We are following health and hygiene recommendations from the New Mexico Department of Health to prevent the spread of the virus.
We have our own medical division within our facilities, staffed by licensed and qualified providers. These providers are working to oversee our practices, treat any illnesses, and keep us informed of the latest guidance on good practices. We have the capability to test your child for viral infections.
Q: Are District Courts open and are cases being heard?
A: Presently, the Courts will remain open and continue to hear cases. Delinquency proceedings will continue with the following stipulations:
- Judges will postpone civil jury trials that have not yet started unless there are exceptional circumstances.
- Judges will conduct all proceedings in a way that minimizes contact among people in the courtroom including the use of telephone and technology.
- Courts will limit the number of people summoned to jury duty. Typically, courts will limit jury pools to no more than 25 people. If additional jurors are needed, courts will keep them in separate rooms even if it requires lawyers to separately question jury pools.
- Jurors who have traveled to areas with a high concentration of confirmed coronavirus cases should contact their court before reporting for jury duty.
- Jurors who are ill will be immediately released and sent home.
- Courts are working with those responsible for cleaning and maintaining courthouses to ensure compliance with enhanced cleaning requirements.