Illinois Prisons Plan for New Early Release Effort

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois prisons are introducing a new-early release program that's more restrictive than the one halted a few years ago amid public outcry about inmates serving just a fraction of their sentences.

Illinois Department of Corrections officials say they've started reviewing records of potentially eligible prisoners. Some could get up to six months off their terms.

Gov. Pat Quinn shut down the earlier program about three years ago after The Associated Press reported that 1,700 inmates had been released after serving just weeks or days in prison. The agency had secretly dropped a 60-day minimum stay requirement.

But ending early release led to crowding. There are currently more than 49,000 inmates in space designed for 33,000.

Quinn signed the new program into law last summer -- including a mandatory 60-day stay.

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