Several prisoners released amid coronavirus concerns

Published: Apr. 16, 2020 at 6:28 PM CDT
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Illinois inmates reaching the end of their sentence could be released early because of the pandemic.

"We are doing everything we can to protect those individuals that remain incarcerated," said Illinois Governor J.B Pritzker,”

Pritzker has granted clemency to more than 1,000 prisoners including Brian Harrington who was convicted of first-degree murder for killing a man in Rockford.

"He's been incarcerated for 13 years and sentenced to 25 years. He was granted executive clemency," said Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross.

Harrington was released from prison on April 7 but Ross says he is not allowed in Winnebago County.

"I also have authority as state's attorney to make sure that the community I serve is protected," Ross said.

State Representative John Cabello supports Pritzker’s idea of releasing non-violent inmates but is angry to see violent criminals freed.

"When you release seven murders when you release four armed robbers and you release someone who has been charged with voluntary manslaughter I have some major issues with that," Cabello said.

Cabello says the only thing he can do is inform the community.

"My point right now is trying to make sure that we get these folks' names out so that hopefully the victims' families know that they are out," Cabello said.

"We are completely opposed to violent criminals being released from prison," said Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea.

O'Shea says it does an injustice to victims.

"There are many other prisoners who haven't committed heinous, violent crimes who certainly probably could be released," O’Shea said.

There is an inmate search option on the Illinois Department of Corrections website to find the status of an inmate.