New Law Restricts Early Release from Prison

Gov. Quinn signed bill Thursday requiring inmates to serve at least 60 days

By BJ Lutz
|  Thursday, Jan 14, 2010  |  Updated 9:15 PM CDT
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New Law Restricts Early Release from Prison

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Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday signed into law new legislation that requires inmates to serve at least 60 days before they become eligible for early-release.

His signing of the Public Safety Initiative Law comes after weeks of criticism of his administration's handling of a secret police change that freed some violent inmates early.

"I thank and congratulate the General Assembly for backing my recommendations and taking swift action to enact this important public safety initiative," the governor said Thursday. "This law will protect the public while preserving the integrity of the criminal justice system and the court’s sentencing of offenders."

The law also requires IDOC to provide at least 14 days advance notice to the appropriate local prosecutors prior to releasing an inmate receiving meritorious good conduct credit.

Quinn suspended the original program last month after an Associated Press report indicated that some of those released were violent criminals who had served as few as 11 days.  Some of them committed new crimes while they were out.

Dan Hynes, the democratic challenger in the upcoming primary election has continually hammered Quinn over the program.

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