Saturday, January 09, 2010


The Economist has referred to the early release of prison inmates as a “state-sanctioned jailbreak.” That is exactly what happened in Illinois when the state secretly changed its policy of prison releases.

When the media exposed it at the end of last month, Illinois Gov Pat Quinn reversed a secret budget relief policy that would have allowed more than 1,700 inmates to be released from state prison early. Beginning in September, around 850 inmates were let out weeks early.

Bob Walsh notes in today’s PacoVilla Corrections blog that “of those [Illinois] inmates released, 56 are already back in custody. Of those, 48 are for violation of parole. Many of those are for violent crimes including attempted murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault on a peace officer.

Of those rolled up seven were found in possession of weapons.

The program was called MGT Push. MGT stands for Meritorious Good Time.

Among the beneficiaries were Timothy Warren, 38. A search of his home revealed a .32 caliber handgun. He has been charged with 2 counts of unlawful use of a weapon. He was out for 11 days, after serving 6 months of a 2 year sentence for unlawful use of a weapon.”

I would think that many of the 850 early releasees who have not been “rolled up” so far are out there committing crimes but just haven’t been caught yet. And some of those crimes are sure to be violent ones.

In previous blogs I have posted that according to independent research organizations, for every 5,000 felons who receive an early release, 45,500 new crimes will be committed over a three-year period, and 9,000 of those crimes will be violent felonies. If the Illinois authorities had been aware of that study, maybe they wouldn’t have tried to pull off what Bob called an “unmitigated disaster.”

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