Ill. reintroduces prison release-credit program
SPRINGFIELD (AP) – Illinois prison officials announced a revamped sentence-reduction plan Friday, again offering early release to inmates who behave behind bars, more than 3 years after corner-cutting on a previous program freed hundreds of violent prisoners and almost cost Gov. Pat Quinn an election.
But the impact of the newly minted “supplemental sentence credit program” on the state’s bloated prison population is uncertain because of its stringent criteria. It will likely mean the release of far fewer prisoners than under the previous plan Quinn suspended in December 2009 after a scandal revealed by The Associated Press.
Quinn said this week the new plan should ease congestion in the state’s prison system, which currently has 49,000 inmates in space designed for only 33,000. But John Maki, director of the John Howard Association, a prison watchdog, said the plan isn’t a solution to crowding in the system, where officials are setting up temporary housing units.