An Illinois House committee yesterday approved early release for prison inmates. They say it will help the state avoid legal trouble over a severely crowded system.
Members of the criminal law Judiciary Committee voted 7 to 1 to send the good-conduct legislation to the House floor. Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie is sponsoring the measure. She says if lawmakers do nothing they could face a court order to start "churning" inmates out of prison. Officials used early release for decades but Governor Pat Quinn shut it down in 2009 after The Associated Press reported his Corrections Department was releasing inmates just weeks or even days after arrival at state prison. Now prisons house 14,000 more inmates than they were designed to hold.