Detention Center

Lea County Detention Center is a 432-bed county jail facility located at
1401 S Commercial
Lovington, NM 88260

The facility houses both adult and juvenile accused offenders, as well as detainees for the U.S. Marshal Service.

It is the mission of the Lea County Detention Center to establish a safe, secure, and humane facility for detainees in our custody. It is our goal to provide firm, fair, and consistent treatment to all detainees.

Security Is Not Convenient

  1. Ruben Quintana

    Ruben Quintana


    Lea County Detention Center is operated under the direction of Warden Ruben Quintana who is responsible for the day to day operations of the facility.

  1. Johel Maldonado

    Johel Maldonado

    Chief of Security

    Second in command to the Warden, is Chief of Security, Johel Maldonado. COS Maldonado assists with the Warden with the day to day operations of the facility and acts on the Warden’s behalf, in his absence.

Detention Center History

Lea County Detention CenterUntil the latter part of 1984, the detention center occupied the second and third floors of the Lea County courthouse and was a division of the Lea County Sheriff's Department.

On December 8, 1984, the old jail was closed in the courthouse and the three-story building was opened across the street from the courthouse. Also, at that time, the overall administration and supervision of the Detention Center was relinquished by the Sheriff's Department and transferred to the Lea County Board of Commissioners.

On November 25, 2003, we broke ground on our new Detention Center located at 1401 S Commercial. This building is designed to house 400 adult inmates and 32 juvenile inmates with the appropriate infrastructure to increase the adult housing to 500. There is a combination of direct and indirect supervision pods with a strong emphasis on programming. The design also included a borrowed light concept which uses natural light to flood dayrooms and deliver filtered light to cells and other locations in the building. This design uses the common sense notion that abundant natural light is essential for modern jail operations. Another design concept in the new building is an exterior mechanical chase which allows maintenance staff to maintain mechanical systems through exterior access without entering inmate areas. This also serves as a second perimeter wall which increases the security of the Detention Center. The double outside walls also provide a positive economic effect on the heating and cooling systems.

The medical unit contains an outpatient clinic and eight inpatient beds. Medical staff is on duty around the clock.

The design of the juvenile portion of the building includes a classroom with a computer lab, open-air recreation yards, and a library. We have a large community room that is available year around for community groups to schedule meetings.

On October 5, 2005, we moved into the new Detention Center. Our population average is about 300 adult inmates and 10 juvenile inmates. Of that daily average, there are over 90 adult federal inmates.