Liberty & Justice Coalition (LJC), has hired Ashley Cloud as its staff attorney. In that role, Ms. Cloud will be coordinating litigation related to criminal justice for the LJC.
Ms. Cloud has enumerated the following list of litigation priorities supported by LJC’s board of directors, with problems related to parole being near the top.
- Litigation against the Parole Board for failure to release those convicted of sex offenses who have served their time because the parolee is unable to provide an acceptable address;
- Litigation to force New Mexico to provide probable cause hearings for those accused of technical violations of their supervision. Despite the fact that the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision mandates such hearings, our state has chosen to disregard this due process requirement;
- A Declaratory Judgment seeking credit for time on registration dating back to enactment of retroactive registration requirements;
- A Declaratory Judgment to strike down the blanket imposition of GPS monitoring as violative of due process without individualized determination of need for such monitoring;
- Litigation to strike various unconstitutional provisions of New Mexico’s Behavioral Contract, which everyone supervised as a sex offender must sign. We will be coordinating our efforts with other legal entities on items such as the ban on social media, employment notifications, and other portions that are being used subjectively to reincarcerate offenders.
Ms. Cloud stated, “I became so appalled at the constitutional violations for an entire class of underrepresented individuals that I could no longer in good conscience stand by and watch. There are so many issues that prioritizing which we undertake first will be my first order of business.
“Even though the official name for post-prison supervision is parole,” Ms. Cloud continued, “that label is totally misleading. There can be no question that the indeterminate period which follows incarceration in New Mexico is clearly a period of supervised release comparable to what occurs in the federal system. Our position is that only the court should have the power to revoke that period of supervised release and then only after the person has been afforded due process, which does include the right to counsel.”
“Ms. Cloud has been engaged in the practice of law for more than 25 years, and we are excited to have her join in the fight for justice and restoration of civil rights for a disenfranchised population,” says Brenda Jones, NARSOL’s executive director. Ms. Cloud recently was an assistant district attorney in the Thirteenth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and she has been a prosecutor for almost her entire career.