Questions remain about Ill. inmate release -

Questions remain about Ill. inmate release

An AP News Analysis

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn's conclusion that it was a "big mistake" for his Corrections Department to release more than 1,700 inmates early still leaves major unanswered questions about the decision, his role and the implications for the state's overcrowded prisons.

Quinn sent mixed messages when he announced he was halting the secret program that allowed some inmates out of prison after serving only two weeks.

While condemning the program, Quinn pointed out that the 1,718 inmates let out early spent an average of just 37 fewer days in prison than they would have.

The early release involved two steps. Quinn addressed only one, a decision to abandon the Corrections Department's previous policy of requiring all inmates to serve at least 61 days before they could be considered for release.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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