Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle’s new budget proposal bets that more criminals can be safely released from prisons, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. To close a budget gap that has grown to $5.7 billion by mid-2011, the Democratic governor said slashed new spending requests and said there would be no pay raises for state workers in the next two years.
Among cuts in many areas, the budget would allow some offenders to shave off as much as a third of their incarceration period for good behavior. They would instead spend that time on extended supervision. Inmates who don’t violate prison rules could earn up to one day off for every two days incarcerated. Inmates could not earn time off for the most serious crimes, such as sex offenses, or if they had prior convictions for violent crimes. The changes would apply to those who committed crimes on or after Dec. 31, 1999, when the state’s truth-in-sentencing law took effect.