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United States
New Mexico Codes Chapter 33 - Correctional Institutions. Article 3 - Jails, 33-3-1 through 33-3-28.

  1. Article 3 - Jails, 33-3-1 through 33-3-28.
    1. Section 33-3-1 - Common jails; operation by sheriff, jail administrator or independent contractor.
    2. Section 33-3-2 - Joint agreements for the construction, management and operation of correctional and detention facilities and jails.
    3. Section 33-3-3 - Confinement of prisoners in county where offense committed.
    4. Section 33-3-4 - Inspection of jails by appropriate governing body; report to district court.
    5. Section 33-3-5 - Cleanliness and feeding prisoners.
    6. Section 33-3-6 - Food for prisoners.
    7. Section 33-3-7 - Record of prisoners; escapes.
    8. Section 33-3-8 - Rules for punishment.
    9. Section 33-3-9 - County jails; deduction of time for good behavior.
    10. Section 33-3-10 - Repealed.
    11. Section 33-3-11 - Jail for nonpayment of fine.
    12. Section 33-3-12 - Commitments to be furnished; orders of release; penalty.
    13. Section 33-3-13 - Prisoners waiting [awaiting] trial; confinement in county jail.
    14. Section 33-3-14 - Confinement in county other than in which crime committed; expense borne by county; exception.
    15. Section 33-3-15 - Transfer of prisoner to another county or the penitentiary for safekeeping; expense.
    16. Section 33-3-16 - United States prisoners.
    17. Section 33-3-17 - Reports of federal prisoners presented to federal court; account of expenses; approval by court.
    18. Section 33-3-18 - Counties without jails; arrangements with other counties.
    19. Section 33-3-19 - Prisoners in jails; work.
    20. Section 33-3-20 - Repealed.
    21. Section 33-3-21 - Commitments by magistrates; confinement in town jail.
    22. Section 33-3-22 - Town or village jails.
    23. Section 33-3-23 - Confinement of prisoners committed by Indian government; cost.
    24. Section 33-3-24 - Prisoner-release program.
    25. Section 33-3-25 - Local government corrections fund created; administration; distribution.
    26. Section 33-3-26 - Agreements for jails or for jail services; pilot programs.
    27. Section 33-3-27 - Jail agreements; approval; liability; termination; venue.
    28. Section 33-3-28 - Jailers; peace officer powers.

New Mexico Codes
Chapter 33 - Correctional Institutions.
Article 3 - Jails, 33-3-1 through 33-3-28.

Section 33-3-1 - Common jails; operation by sheriff, jail administrator or independent contractor.

33-3-1. Common jails; operation by sheriff, jail administrator or independent contractor.

A.     The common jails shall be under the control of the respective sheriffs, independent contractors or jail administrators hired by the board of county commissioners or other local public body or combination thereof, and the same shall be used as prisons in the respective counties.   

B.     Contracts between local public bodies and private independent contractors for the operation, or provision and operation, of a jail are specifically authorized by this section; provided that prior to July 1, 1987, no more than two pilot projects involving private independent contractors are authorized in New Mexico, pursuant to Section 33-3-26 NMSA 1978.   

Section 33-3-2 - Joint agreements for the construction, management and operation of correctional and detention facilities and jails.

33-3-2. Joint agreements for the construction, management and operation of correctional and detention facilities and jails.

A.     Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection A of Section 33-3-1 NMSA 1978, the board of county commissioners of a county may enter into an agreement with other counties and municipalities to provide for the construction, maintenance or operation of one or more jails or correctional or detention facilities for confinement of persons charged with crimes, violations of municipal or county ordinances or committed to jail.   

B.     The agreement authorized in Subsection A of this section may provide for the control of the indicated facilities by the sheriff of the county in which the facility is located or by a jail administrator as defined in Section 4-44-19 NMSA 1978 or by an independent contractor, and the agreement shall state the manner in which the person in control shall be selected if it is other than the sheriff.   

C.     In a class A county utilizing a joint city and county jail, municipalities shall pay a fee to the board of county commissioners for each prisoner housed in the county jail charged with municipal offenses or arrested by municipal officers.  The fee shall be a reasonable fee established by the board of county commissioners and approved by the local government division of the department of finance and administration.   

D.     No agreement or an amendment to an agreement authorized by this section is effective until it is approved by the local government division of the department of finance and administration.   

Section 33-3-3 - Confinement of prisoners in county where offense committed.

33-3-3. Confinement of prisoners in county where offense committed.

The jail or jails in each county shall be used or be available for the detention of every person who, within the same county, is charged with any crime or properly committed for trial or for the imprisonment of every person who in conformity with sentence, upon conviction of an offense, may have been sentenced, and for the safekeeping of every person who shall be committed by competent authority according to law.   

Section 33-3-4 - Inspection of jails by appropriate governing body; report to district court.

33-3-4. Inspection of jails by appropriate governing body; report to district court.

The governing bodies of the several counties or municipalities of this state shall be the inspectors of the jails in their respective counties and shall visit them at least twice a year and shall carefully examine the condition of each cell as to cleanliness and discipline, and the sheriff, jail administrator or independent contractor shall lay before them a list of the names, ages and the cause of imprisonment of each person, and it shall be the duty of the governing body to report to the district court at each term of said court held in each county, and should it appear from the same that any of the provisions of law have been violated or broken, the judge of the district court shall order the district attorney to commence suit against the sheriff, jail administrator or independent contractor for the violation and failure in the discharge of duty.   

Section 33-3-5 - Cleanliness and feeding prisoners.

33-3-5. Cleanliness and feeding prisoners.

It shall be the duty of the sheriff, jail administrator or independent contractor of each jail of the several counties of this state to keep the jails of their respective counties clean and healthy, and they shall observe special care as to the personal cleanliness of all prisoners under their charge.   

Section 33-3-6 - Food for prisoners.

33-3-6. Food for prisoners.

The sheriffs, jail administrators or independent contractors of each county in the state shall supply with food the prisoners in their jails, and at all times all food so furnished shall be of a good and wholesome quality and sufficient in quantity for the proper maintenance of life.   

Section 33-3-7 - Record of prisoners; escapes.

33-3-7. Record of prisoners; escapes.

It shall be the duty of the sheriffs, jail administrators or independent contractors of the various jails to keep a faithful and true statement of all the prisoners detained and under their charge. The statement shall set forth the name of each person committed to jail, stating his place of residence, the date of his imprisonment, the cause of confinement and the authority committing him; provided that if the person who shall have been committed to jail shall afterwards obtain his liberty, the same shall be so stated in said book, setting forth the authority by which he was set at liberty; and in like manner, should any prisoner make his escape, the time thereof shall be stated, and the manner in which the escape was made.   

Section 33-3-8 - Rules for punishment.

33-3-8. Rules for punishment.

The sheriffs, jail administrators or independent contractors in charge of the respective jails shall submit proposed rules and regulations which shall be effective upon being adopted by the local governing body or bodies responsible for the jail for the punishment of persons violating the rules of the jail.   

Section 33-3-9 - County jails; deduction of time for good behavior.

33-3-9. County jails; deduction of time for good behavior.

A.     The sheriff or jail administrator of any county, with the approval of the committing judge or presiding judge, may grant any person imprisoned in the county jail a deduction of time from the term of his sentence for good behavior and industry and shall establish rules for the accrual of "good time". Deductions of time shall not exceed one-half of the term of the prisoner's original sentence.  If a prisoner is under two or more cumulative sentences, the sentences shall be treated as one sentence for the purpose of deducting time for good behavior.   

B.     A prisoner shall not accrue good time for the mandatory portion of a sentence imposed pursuant to the provisions of:   

(1)     Sections 66-8-102 and 66-5-39 NMSA 1978; or   

(2)     a county or municipal ordinance that prohibits driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, or driving with a revoked or suspended driver's license.   

C.     A part or all of the prisoner's accrued deductions may be forfeited for any conduct violation.  The sheriff or jail administrator shall establish rules and procedures for the forfeiture of accrued deductions and keep a record of all forfeitures of accrued deductions and the reasons for the forfeitures. In addition, any independent contractor shall also keep a duplicate record of such forfeitures.   

D.     No other time allowance or credits in addition to deductions of time permitted under this section may be granted to any prisoner.   

E.     If a private independent contractor operates a jail, he shall make reports of disciplinary violations and good behavior to the sheriff of the county in which the jail is located.  All action on such reports and awards or forfeitures of good time shall be made by the sheriff.  The independent contractor shall not have the power to award or cause the forfeiture of good time pursuant to this section.   

Section 33-3-10 - Repealed.

33-3-10. Repealed.

Section 33-3-11 - Jail for nonpayment of fine.

33-3-11. Jail for nonpayment of fine.

A.     Whenever any person is committed to jail for nonpayment of any fine or costs or both, he shall be credited with eight times the federal hourly minimum wage a day in reduction thereof for each day or portion of a day of incarceration. When the person has remained incarcerated a sufficient length of time to extinguish the fine or cost or both, computed at this rate, or has paid to the sentencing court the amount of the fine or costs or both, remaining after deducting credit allowed by this section and obtaining from the court an order of release from commitment, the officer having the prisoner in custody shall discharge him from custody under commitment.   

B.     If the person in custody makes an affidavit that he has no property out of which he can pay the fine and costs, either or any part, the prisoner shall not be retained in custody longer than sixty days even though the fine and costs or either exceeds the amount credited toward repayment during those sixty days. The affidavit shall be delivered to the sheriff or jail administrator as defined in Section 4-44-19 NMSA 1978 having custody of the prisoner.   

Section 33-3-12 - Commitments to be furnished; orders of release; penalty.

33-3-12. Commitments to be furnished; orders of release; penalty.

A.     Every public officer who has power to order the imprisonment of any person for violation of law shall, on making such order, transmit to the sheriff, jail administrator or independent contractor of his respective county a true copy of the order so that the person imprisoned may be considered under his custody until expiration of the commitment or until further steps, as provided by law, are taken to obtain the prisoner's liberty, of which he shall, in due time, notify the sheriff, jail administrator or independent contractor in writing.   

B.     Any jailer who deliberately and knowingly releases a prisoner without an order of release as provided in this section, except upon expiration of the prisoner's term of commitment, is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be removed from office.   

Section 33-3-13 - Prisoners waiting [awaiting] trial; confinement in county jail.

33-3-13. Prisoners waiting [awaiting] trial; confinement in county jail.

All persons charged with crime committed in the state, while awaiting indictment or trial on such charge, shall be incarcerated in the county jail of the county wherein such crime is alleged to have been committed or any facility operated by agreement between such counties or municipalities, except that such persons may be temporarily imprisoned in other places of confinement while being conveyed or awaiting conveyance to the jail of the proper county; provided that the sheriff or jail administrator of any county, having the custody of anyone charged with the commission of crime, shall be authorized to remove such person to another county jail or any other place of safety when in the opinion of the sheriff or jail administrator the life of such person or others is in imminent danger; provided further that this section shall not prevent a person being confined in a jail other than the one belonging to the county in which the crime charged is alleged to have been committed, when such person is confined in such other jail in consequence of having taken a change of venue to such other county.   

Section 33-3-14 - Confinement in county other than in which crime committed; expense borne by county; exception.

33-3-14. [Confinement in county other than in which crime committed; expense borne by county; exception.]

Whenever any person shall be imprisoned in any county other than the county in which the crime is alleged to have been committed, in violation of this chapter, the expense of such imprisonment shall be borne by the county in which such person is so imprisoned; provided, that whenever any prisoner shall be removed to another county under the provisions of the preceding section [33-3-13 NMSA 1978] then, and in such case, the expense of removal and keeping such prisoner shall be paid by the county from which such prisoner was so removed.   

Section 33-3-15 - Transfer of prisoner to another county or the penitentiary for safekeeping; expense.

33-3-15. Transfer of prisoner to another county or the penitentiary for safekeeping; expense.

Whenever the public welfare or the safe custody of a prisoner shall require, any district judge in the state of New Mexico in his discretion may order any person charged with the commission of a crime, or any person in the custody of the sheriff of any county in the district of the said judge, to be removed to another county jail, or to the state penitentiary, or to any other place of safety, when, in the opinion of the said district judge, it is advisable that such person or persons shall be removed for any purpose whatsoever.   

Where a person, on the order of any district judge has been placed in the state penitentiary or a county jail for safekeeping, the expense incurred by said penitentiary or the sheriff of any county for the maintenance of said prisoner, shall be borne by the county from which said prisoner has been ordered, and said bill of expense shall be made a preferential bill of expense and shall be paid in full before any bill, fees or salaries of such county are paid; provided, however, that the said state penitentiary or sheriff shall only charge for the maintenance of said prisoner the legal rate now allowed by law. This section shall not authorize a charge against a county for expenses relating to any prisoner committed to the penitentiary as a result of a criminal conviction.   

Section 33-3-16 - United States prisoners.

33-3-16. United States prisoners.

It shall be the duty of the sheriff of each county, his deputy, jailer, jail administrator or independent contractor, to whom any person shall be remitted in conformity with a legal process issued by or under the authority of the United States, and he is hereby required, to receive such person or persons into his custody and keep them safely until they shall be placed at liberty according to the laws of the United States; provided that the United States shall be responsible for the payment of the fee which shall be established from time to time by the sheriff, jail administrator or independent contractor in charge of the operation of a jail.   

Section 33-3-17 - Reports of federal prisoners presented to federal court; account of expenses; approval by court.

33-3-17. [Reports of federal prisoners presented to federal court; account of expenses; approval by court.]

The sheriffs of the different counties of this state, whenever they shall have under their charge any prisoner as set forth in the foregoing section [33-3-16 NMSA 1978], shall at each regular term of the district court for the United States, submit to said court a list of all the prisoners under their charge by authority of the United States, for the information of said court, setting forth the date of their imprisonment, by whom delivered into their custody and for what offense, accompanied with a just and correct account of all the expenses of their maintenance and detention, for the consideration of said district court of the United States, and for the approval and order of said court for the payment of the sum.   

Section 33-3-18 - Counties without jails; arrangements with other counties.

33-3-18. Counties without jails; arrangements with other counties.

In case any county in this state lacks a jail or proper place of confinement for its prisoners, the board of county commissioners of that county shall make contractual arrangements with other counties, municipalities or independent contractors for the incarceration and care of its prisoners, and that jail so designated by any board of county commissioners of any county not having a jail or other proper place of confinement shall be the legal place of confinement of the prisoners of said county.   

Section 33-3-19 - Prisoners in jails; work.

33-3-19. Prisoners in jails; work.

It is the duty of the sheriffs, jail administrators as defined in Section 4-44-19 NMSA 1978 or independent contractors in charge of the jails of the state to compel the prisoners who are sentenced to imprisonment in the jails to work on public projects without pay or remuneration whatsoever. A prisoner may be compelled to work a maximum of eight hours in a twenty-four-hour period; provided that a work period is followed by a rest period of a minimum of eight hours. No prisoner shall be compelled to work on Sundays and legal holidays. This work may be considered for good time reduction as provided in Section 33-3-9 NMSA 1978.   

Section 33-3-20 - Repealed.

33-3-20. Repealed.

Section 33-3-21 - Commitments by magistrates; confinement in town jail.

33-3-21. Commitments by magistrates; confinement in town jail.

Whenever in any incorporated town or village situated more than fifty miles from the county seat of the county in which such town or village is situated any person shall be tried before any magistrate whose precinct or any part thereof is embraced within such town or village for any offense against the laws of the state amounting to a misdemeanor and who shall be convicted thereof and be sentenced to be confined in the county jail, either as a part of the punishment inflicted for such offense or for the nonpayment of the fine and costs that may be assessed against the person, it shall be lawful for the sheriff receiving the order of commitment to confine the defendant in the jail belonging to such town or village for the period or term directed in the judgment or order of commitment. For the purposes of this [section] and Section 33-3-22 NMSA 1978, the jail of such town or village is hereby declared to be a county jail.   

Section 33-3-22 - Town or village jails.

33-3-22. Town or village jails.

The boards of county commissioners in the several counties of the state are authorized and empowered to care for the feeding and guarding of the prisoners confined in the jail of any such town or village and to pay out of the county treasury to the trustees of such town or village for the feeding and guarding of such prisoners.   

Section 33-3-23 - Confinement of prisoners committed by Indian government; cost.

33-3-23. Confinement of prisoners committed by Indian government; cost.

A.     Subject to the payment by the Indian tribe, band or pueblo or the United States of the fees established for the jail, the sheriff of each county, his deputy, jailer, jail administrator or independent contractor is required to receive any person committed to his custody in conformity with a regular process issued by or under the authority of any Indian tribe, band or pueblo in New Mexico and is further required to retain custody until such person is placed at liberty according to the laws of the United States or of the Indian tribe, band or pueblo.   

B.     No sheriff, jail administrator or independent contractor shall be required to receive any such committed person if to do so would exceed the capacity of the facility. The sheriff, jail administrator or independent contractor may also return any prisoner received by him under this section to the committing authority if the capacity of the facility is exceeded.   

Section 33-3-24 - Prisoner-release program.

33-3-24. Prisoner-release program.

The sheriff of any county or the jail administrator of any jail with the approval of the board of county commissioners and the governing body of the municipality, as applicable, may establish a prisoner-release program in accordance with the provisions of Sections 33-2-43 and 33-2-44 NMSA 1978. The labor and industrial commission shall exercise the same supervision over conditions of employment for prisoners working under a prisoner-release program as it does over conditions of employment for free persons. A prisoner working under a prisoner-release program is not entitled to any benefits under the Unemployment Compensation Law [51-1-1 NMSA 1978] during the term of his sentence. No prisoner involved in a prisoner-release program is an agent, employee or involuntary servant of a county jail while attending school, working in private business or going to or from such assignment.   

Section 33-3-25 - Local government corrections fund created; administration; distribution.

33-3-25. Local government corrections fund created; administration; distribution.

A.     There is created in the state treasury a "local government corrections fund" to be administered by the administrative office of the courts.   

B.     All balances in the local government corrections fund are appropriated to the administrative office of the courts for payment to counties and municipalities in counties with a metropolitan court for use by counties and those municipalities for county or municipal jailer or juvenile detention officer training; for the construction planning, construction, maintenance and operation of the county detention facility, municipal jail or juvenile detention facility; for paying the cost of housing county or municipal prisoners or juveniles in any detention facility in the state; for alternatives to incarceration; or for complying with match or contribution requirements for the receipt of federal funds relating to detention facilities, jails or juvenile detention facilities. Payments shall be made quarterly upon certification by the magistrate court or metropolitan court and the motor vehicle division of the taxation and revenue department of eligible amounts as provided in Subsection C of this section.   

C.     Each county shall be eligible for a payment in an amount equal to the costs and fees collected by a magistrate court or a metropolitan court and the motor vehicle division pursuant to offenses committed within the county and deposited in the local government corrections fund; provided, in a county with a metropolitan court, the county shall be eligible for a payment in an amount equal to costs and fees collected pursuant to offenses committed within the boundaries of the unincorporated areas of the county, and a municipality in that county shall be eligible for a payment in an amount equal to the costs collected pursuant to offenses committed within the boundaries of the municipality.   

D.     Payments from the local government corrections fund shall be made upon vouchers issued and signed by the director of the administrative office of the courts upon warrants drawn by the secretary of finance and administration.   

E.     All money received by a county or a municipality pursuant to this section shall be deposited in a special fund in the county or municipal treasury and shall be used solely for:   

(1)     county or municipal jailer or juvenile detention officer training;   

(2)     the construction planning, construction, maintenance and operation of the county detention facility, municipal jail or juvenile detention facility;   

(3)     paying the cost of housing county or municipal prisoners or juveniles in any detention facility in the state;   

(4)     alternatives to incarceration; or   

(5)     complying with match or contribution requirements for the receipt of federal funds relating to detention facilities, jails or juvenile detention facilities.   

Section 33-3-26 - Agreements for jails or for jail services; pilot programs.

33-3-26. Agreements for jails or for jail services; pilot programs.

A.     Any county or municipality may enter into an agreement, including an agreement with an independent contractor, to operate, or to provide and operate, jail facilities for the care and housing of prisoners; provided that, prior to July 1, 1987, no more than two pilot projects for operation, or provision and operation, of a jail by private independent contractors are hereby authorized in New Mexico; and further provided that the attorney general shall select, authorize and approve such pilot projects.   

B.     The attorney general shall monitor any pilot project and shall report to the first and second sessions of the thirty-seventh legislature and to the first session of the thirty-eighth legislature with analyses of the pilot projects, their success or failure, recommendations for modification or repeal of the law and suggestions for change in any future projects.   

Section 33-3-27 - Jail agreements; approval; liability; termination; venue.

33-3-27. Jail agreements; approval; liability; termination; venue.

A.     Agreements with a private independent contractor for the operation of a jail or for the incarceration of prisoners shall be made for a period of up to five years, but those agreements may allow for additional one-year or two-year extensions not to exceed a total of five extensions.  Agreements binding on future governing bodies for construction, purchase or lease of a jail facility for not more than fifteen years are authorized.

B.     All agreements with private independent contractors for the operation or provision and operation of jails shall include a performance bond and be approved in writing, prior to their becoming effective, by the local government division of the department of finance and administration and the office of the attorney general.  Disapproval may be based on any reasonable grounds, including adequacy or appropriateness of the proposed plan or standards; suitability or qualifications of the proposed contractor or the contractor's employees; absence of required or desirable contract provisions; unavailability of funds; or any other reasonable grounds.  No agreement shall be valid or enforceable without prior approval.

C.     All agreements with private independent contractors for the operation or provision and operation of jails shall provide for the independent contractor to provide and pay for training for jailers to meet minimum training standards, which shall be specified in the contract.

D.     All agreements with private independent contractors for the operation or provision and operation of jails shall set forth comprehensive standards for conditions of incarceration, either by setting them forth in full as part of the contract or by reference to known and respected compilations of those standards.

E.     All agreements with private independent contractors for the operation or provision and operation of jails shall be approved in writing, prior to their becoming effective, by the risk management division of the general services department.  Approval shall be conditioned upon contractual arrangements satisfactory to the risk management division for:

(1)     the contractor's assumption of all liability caused by or arising out of all aspects of the provision and operation of the jail; and

(2)     liability insurance covering the contractor and its officers, jailers, employees and agents in an amount sufficient to cover all liability caused by or arising out of all aspects of the provision and operation of the jail.  A copy of the proposed insurance policy for the first year shall be submitted for approval with the contract.

F.     All agreements with private independent contractors for the operation or provision and operation of jails shall provide for termination for cause by the local public body parties upon ninety days' notice to the independent contractor.  A termination shall be allowed for at least the following reasons:

(1)     failure of the independent contractor to meet minimum standards and conditions of incarceration, which standards and conditions shall be specified in the contract; or

(2)     failure to meet other contract provisions when the failure seriously affects the operation of the jail. 

The reasons for termination set forth in this subsection are not exclusive and may be supplemented by the parties.

G.     Venue for the enforcement of any agreement entered into pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be in the district court of the county in which the facility is located or in Santa Fe county. 

Section 33-3-28 - Jailers; peace officer powers.

33-3-28. Jailers; peace officer powers.

A.     Jailers and any employee of a local jail who has, at the particular time, the principal duty to hold in custody any person accused or convicted of a criminal offense or placed in the legal custody or supervision of a local jail shall have the power of a peace officer with respect to arrests and enforcement of laws when on the premises of a local jail, while transporting a person committed to or under the supervision of a local jail, while supervising any person committed to or under the supervision of a local jail anywhere within the state or when engaged in any effort to pursue or apprehend such a person. No jailer shall be convicted or held liable for any act performed pursuant to this subsection if a peace officer could lawfully have performed the same act in the same circumstance. Jailers, while acting within the scope of such law enforcement duties, shall be deemed law enforcement officers for purposes of the Tort Claims Act [41-4-1 NMSA 1978]; provided that coverage of liability of jailers employed by private independent contractors shall be made by the independent contractor.   

B.     Jailers who are employees of an independent contractor shall not be required to attend the basic training program for law enforcement officers at the New Mexico law enforcement academy.   

C.     Crimes against a jailer, including those persons employed by an independent contractor, shall be deemed the same crimes and shall bear the same penalties as crimes against a peace officer.   

D.     As used in this section:   

(1)     "jailer" means any employee of a local jail who has inmate custodial responsibilities, including those persons employed by private independent contractors who have been designated as jailers by the sheriff; and   

(2)     "local jail" means a facility operated by a county, municipality or combination of such local governments or by a private independent contractor pursuant to an agreement with a county, municipality or combination of such local governments and used for the confinement of persons charged with or convicted of violation of a law or ordinance.   

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