UPDATE: Revamped IL Prison Release Plan Moves to House

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- An Illinois House committee has approved early release for prison inmates. They say it will help the state avoid legal trouble over a severely crowded system.

Members of the criminal law Judiciary Committee voted 7-1 Monday to send the good-conduct legislation to the House floor.

Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie is sponsoring the measure. The Chicago Democrat says if lawmakers do nothing they could face a court order to start "churning" inmates out of prison.

Officials used early release for decades but Gov. Pat Quinn shut it down in 2009 after The Associated Press reported his Corrections Department was releasing inmates just weeks or even days after arrival at state prison.

Now prisons house14,000 more inmates than they were designed to hold.


Online: The bill is SB2621.

Online: http://www.ilga.gov

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois lawmakers are considering a plan to reduce prison overcrowding by resuming early release for well-behaved inmates.

Gov. Pat Quinn ended early release in 2009 after The Associated Press reported some inmates were being freed just weeks or even days after they entered prison.

The end of the program contributed to serious crowding. Illinois prisons house 48,000 inmates in space designed for 34,000. And Quinn's budget plan would close two prisons and other correctional facilities.

Sen. Kwame Raoul (KWAH'-may rah-OOL') is sponsoring the bill to spell out conditions for early release. The Chicago Democrat says strong legislative support would give Quinn political cover to resume a release program.

The Senate approved the measure 55-1. A House committee may vote on it today.

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  • by Bob on May 29, 2012 at 03:03 PM
    We are actually all living inside a big prison right now and most don't even realize it. The walls and lack of freedom is all around us in this country today so gradually ingrained into our society for years now that most don't even see it!! Just try to fight it and the "system" will gradually increase your level of confinement medicate you and lock you away! Everyone now can be labeled with a mental illness..there is something in the book to cover everyone!! Try to stand out from the norm and you will be beat down by the politically correct corporate Hammer!! It's only a matter of time before the prisons themselves are all but gone and people are electronically tracked and confined to certain living areas based on how well they behave...they will be monitored all the time...one infraction and they can simply unplug your life! The true people in power in this country today are intentionally trying to make our system fail! Our Bill of Rights and the US constitution is the only thing standing in their way!! Collapse the old system causing chaos and desperation and then at the same time be the saviors and answers to all out problems playing off all our fears and desperation for security by instituting a new more oppressive system where everyone is tracked and monitored and where you will basically have to have the mark of the beast to be able to buy, sell, and feed yourself. I long for the freedom that once existed in this country!! Unfortunately though an entire generation of kids now has been dumbed down and medicated to the point where it's almost hopeless. Everyone is caught in a big lie and think it's the norm! They are so ingrained in it and poisoned that they cannot even see outside of it. There is hope however as the Truth will ultimately prevail..but sadly not after a lot of pain and death. We will never break the cycles of this world until we turn our eyes towards God and the stars in the heavens!!
  • by Bob on May 29, 2012 at 02:42 PM
    It's So Sad the fact that it costs the state more per inmate/year then most people can make in an entire year working a full time job!! It's only a matter of time before our prison industrial complex collapses along with many other things in this country. Then people will actually have to wake up and learn to solve all the real social problems with the schools and broken families etc! It could get real messy!! So many today forget that the older generations had certain rules and moral values for a reason!! Once the Loving Family Unit is attacked and broken...society is broken in every other respect!! Until people focus on family and community again and get passed their social fears and brainwashing propagated by the media..nothing will ever change!! It appears now history will once again repeat itself with war and chaos until the value of human life once again returns and the same lessons are learned once again! Then that generation will tell it's grandchildren to follow the rules..and those Grandchildren of course will not listen and think their being oppressive, and then the same cycle will start all over again!! Over and Over again until we finally start to realize this and finally work together as one people and go to the stars!!
  • by Julie Location: Rockford on May 29, 2012 at 04:00 AM
    I support this for the Non Violent criminals however, where do you draw the line? What is considered as Non violent? If anyone is to be released then yes, they should be, this would keep the violent ones in longer and not risking the chance of them being released earlier than they should. Not to mention, saving taxpayers money on supporting them.
  • by taxpayer Location: rockford on May 28, 2012 at 08:24 PM
    Although I hate property taxes and sales taxes, I would pay extra to build a new prison that would house hundreds of these thugs. The Justice Center downtown is already inadequate. Re-open Joliet and Thomson prisons. These misfits are getting probation or parole because of closed prisons. Open them back up, put these creeps away. Better yet, reinstate the death penalty and get them out of the system once and for all.
  • by Helpless In Illinois. on May 28, 2012 at 08:23 PM
    Free stuff for those who have never worked, or ever desired to work, and now early release for criminals, because...wait for it....there are too many criminals. Bring back the gallows, I'm sure that would make thugs think twice before taking someone's life. Not punishing criminals just leads to repeat criminals. Make them do some hard labor, not just lay around and watch tv, or spend the day in the visitor center talking to friends and family. This state really sucks...everyone gets a break, but the working class stiff.
  • by wtf Location: rockford on May 28, 2012 at 07:57 PM
    let out all non-violent first time offenders to make room for the animals out roaming the streets. an "accidental fire" at the super max wouldn't be a bad idea.
  • by jimmy crackcorn on May 28, 2012 at 06:31 PM
    Early release should not be granted for anyone in prison. Too many crimes are committed by those who are released early.
  • by Uncle Red Location: The War Zone on May 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM
    Another great move by the ultimate idiots in Springfield, let more thugs out of their cages. Are we going to get desperately needed concealed carry with this?
    • reply
      by Marie on May 29, 2012 at 12:14 PM in reply to Uncle Red
      I wish commenters would actually read up on the subject they chose to comment on. Read the bill at the state legislative website. You will find that NO ONE who has any violence in their past is going to be eligible for early release this time. 2nd, the only people who have been penalized over the past couple of years because Quinn took away MGT are those who are the non-violent and often 1st time offenders. Many of those accepted plea deals with the understanding they would be eligible for MGT only to get to IDOC and find out the program was suspended. Their families have been subject to unnecessary hardship by the absence of the program. 3rd if you want to lock everyone up; then build a prison in your back yard and you house them and pay the expense directly yourselves. The rest of us cannot place the escalating costs of jailing everyone and that is what it comes down to. Every year more and more conduct is made illegal. Every year problems schools and families used to handle and straighten out are being passed more and more to the police and the courts until everyone will have a record by age 25. The public is blind to this and it's effects on societal problems. Once a convict, who hires you? No one, so soon everyone complains about roving bands of those who cannot find work and who have no option except to commit additional crimes because we refuse to give them any other options.
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