Torrance County claims it does not keep records of who it arrests. A Torrance County employee verified that these records are created for Torrance County by its contractor, CoreCivic. The Mountainair Dispatch has filed a complaint to gain access to these records.
Since starting the Mountainair Dispatch, one key point of contention between the news site and the government of Torrance County has been the county government’s claims it does not keep track of who it arrests each week, commonly known as keeping a “booking sheet.” Eventually, a member of the Torrance County government confirmed that such records were kept, and were created by CoreCivic, which operates the Torrance County Detention Facility. Following two months of attempted negotiations with the Torrance County Sheriff’s Office, Torrance County Attorney’s Office, and CoreCivic, and two months of CoreCivic ignoring multiple attempts at contact, the Mountainair Dispatch has filed a complaint with the Attorney General of New Mexico against these public and private agencies for violating the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) in denying access to the county's booking records.
IPRA is New Mexico’s version of what are known as Sunshine Laws: state and federal laws (such as the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA) that forced governments to provide access to non-classified materials to the public, which came about beginning in 1966 with FOIA. While the US Congress enacted FOIA in 1966, New Mexico did not enact IPRA until 1978, codified as NMSA 14–2–1 et sequentia.
Update - 3:42 PM, April 19, 2023
At 3:14 PM on April 19, 2023, CoreCivic representative Robin Miranda contacted the offices of the Mountainair Dispatch and confirmed that the booking document exists, was created by the Torrance County Sheriff's Office, potentially in spreadsheet format, but said she would not be able to release the document to the public without authorization from county officials in the Sheriff's Office, county officials in the Attorney's Office, or CoreCivic's legal team in Tennessee.