Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Weekend in Jail Became Offender's Death Sentence.

Byline: Mike Gallagher Journal Investigative Reporter

Paying for Time

Jails across New Mexico suffer from a shortage of guards. Turnover is high, and many guards are inexperienced. That can lead to inmate assaults, escapes even death. This is part two of a four-day series.

2 Guards Assigned To Over 70 Inmates

Somebody ate Matt Cavalier's lunch. The shift log kept by corrections officers on 3-North at the Bernalillo County Detention Center shows 75 sack lunches were served and none refused on Sunday, Aug. 27.

If post orders had been followed, Matt Cavalier would have personally appeared and taken his lunch from a corrections officer.

If post orders had been followed, a corrections officer would have entered Cavalier's cell at 8:30 that morning, inspected it to make sure it was clean and that Cavalier had made up his bunk.

Those orders, and others, weren't followed.

Nobody entered Cavalier's cell to check on his bunk, and nobody handed him his lunch.

Cavalier was dead, lying on his bunk in a pool of vomit and blood for more than 20 hours.

On the weekend of Cavalier's death, there were two corrections officers on 3-North guarding 75 of the toughest inmates in the jail. One officer worked in the control room while the other patrolled the floor. …

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