Curry detention center administrator retiring

CNJ staff

Warden Leslie Johnson, administrator of the Curry County Adult Detention Center will retire Aug. 16, according to County Manager Lance Pyle.

Johnson has managed the facility since March 2006, when she relocated from Eddy County, where she managed its detention center for eight years.

Deputy Warden Audrey Barriga, who has more than 11 years corrections experience, will serve as interim warden after Johnson’s departure, Pyle said Monday.

Pyle said he will reassess the situation in September and determine the future of the position.

By county policy, the jail administrator’s position is “at will” and is filled through appointment by county manager.

There is no requirement that it be posted, Pyle said.

Johnson has invested more than 30 years in law enforcement and brought with her innovative ideas to manage Curry County’s inmate population, the release said.

Johnson’s management led to a more than $500,000 annual reduction in out-of-state inmate housing costs and her implementation of an ankle bracelet program and education and rehabilitation programs have curbed recidivism rates, Pyle said in the release.

She is also credited with reducing the county’s risk exposure, inmate assaults and vandalism through her management approach, the release said.

“She will be greatly missed and (I) wish her the best of luck in her retirement,” Pyle said.

Johnson was budgeted to receive a salary of $67,184, according to the 2008 county budget.