Ohio's prison chief recommended the release of five inmates who have served 80 percent of their time, the first use of a 2011 law meant to help reduce the state's inmate population and save money, the Associated Press reports. State Corrections Director Gary Mohr cited several reasons, including good behavior, in letters to judges, who have the final say. The five inmates – two women and three men – are serving time mostly for low-level felonies, although one was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide. Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said the 80 percent release option encourages inmates to act responsibly in prison “and is significant in our effort to better communicate with courts and assist the eligible, suitable offenders in having a successful transition back into our communities.” The 2011 law aims to save the state millions of dollars by shrinking the number of inmates and reducing the numbers who might return to prison as repeat offenders. Ohio's prison population remains under 50,000 inmates. The number of inmates returning to prison after release has hit a new low, a trend officials attribute to a focus on keeping inmates in the community and the involvement of groups that work with inmates before their release.