Quinn Signs New Law On Early Illinois Prisoner Releases

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a measure into law that revives good time credit for non-violent offenders who complete drug treatment, job training or rehabilitation programs while behind bars, reports the Chicago Tribune. The move comes more than two years after Quinn suspended similar early release programs after it was discovered that thousands of inmates had been released from prison after serving only a few weeks in prison.

The issue was a flash point in the 2010 Democratic primary election, and was revived that fall by Republican challenger Sen. Bill Brady, who lost to Quinn by less than a percentage point. The new law would require inmates to spend at least 60 days in prison before they could be released for good time credit, which would be added on top of routine day-for-day credit inmates already earn. Inmates could earn no more than 180 days of good time credit. Quinn said the measure will help control the growing prison population while encouraging prisoners to pursue rehabilitation so they are less likely to commit crimes in the future.

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