The media and Illinois politicians got nearly everything wrong in the recent controversy over an early-release prison program there, according to a scathing report by Malcolm C. Young, director of the Program for Prison Re-entry Strategies at Northwestern University School of Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic. Young writes, “Contrary to media reports, Meritorious Good Time-Push (MGT-Push) has not been responsible for a single illegal or premature release of dangerous criminals or for the commission of additional violent crime. MGT-Push did not cut prison sentences by months or years. It did not add to the public risk or endanger public safety. And it was not “secret.”
In his “Change of Subject” blog, the Chicago Tribune’s Eric Zorn writes, “Just about everyone looks awful in this report — both gubernatorial candidates, the media, the police and prosecutors and the political party operatives — except for the designated scapegoat, former Department of Corrections Director Michael Randle.” Randle resigned under pressure over his stewardship of what was widely reported to be a “botched” early-release program.