Expert: Disputed Illinois Prison-Release Program Was ‘Sound’


Malcolm Young, a sentencing expert at Northwestern University’s law school, says the Illinois inmate-release program that led to the departure of the state’s corrections director “was thought out, very much in line with sound corrections practices, and in line with similar reforms implemented in states such as New York and Michigan which used prison ‘earned good time’ to shorten the amount of time certain inmates spent in prison,” reports the Chicago Tribune’s Eric Zorn.

Young, a member of the Illinois Corrections Advisory Board that is writing a report on the program known as MGT-Push, says, “The controversy that MGT-Push engendered was based on incorrect facts and misunderstandings of how the criminal justice system operates, including who decides what a sentence to prison will be, and what it will mean in terms of actual time behind prison bars.” Young says the state corrections department “has been pilloried over a program that lets out prisoners according to law, some 37 days on average before they were allowed out based on ‘custom.’ “

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