[Guest post by DRJ]
The AP reported that Illinois’ budget crisis prompted its Governor to implement a secret early release program for state prisoners to help balance the budget:
“Records obtained and analyzed by the AP show that since September more than 850 inmates have been released weeks earlier than they ordinarily would be. The Corrections Department is saving money by abandoning a policy that requires inmates to serve at least 61 days and awarding them discretionary good-conduct credit immediately upon entering prison.”
Some released prisoners served mere days, including a wrong-way drunk driver released after 18 days who hit two cars and hospitalized another driver for weeks; and a previously convicted felon who served 21 days for armed robbery and was arrested with an illegal weapon and a bag of cocaine.
ADDENDUM: I hadn’t even published this post before the Illinois Governor announced he was rescinding the early release program in response to the AP’s article.