Quinn says he knew about prison release program

AP News
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Posted: Dec 16, 2009 3:38 PM

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he knew ahead of time that his Corrections Department planned to begin releasing some prisoners after just a few days behind bars.

But Quinn wouldn't explain Wednesday why he halted the practice after The Associated Press reported the release of hundreds of inmates _ including some convicted of violent crimes.

The Chicago Democrat also refused to say whether he knew the release program would include violent criminals.

The governor says his Corrections director had told him about the plan, which includes dropping a policy of requiring that all inmates serve at least 61 days in prison. That change makes some inmates eligible for release almost as soon as they arrive in prison.

Quinn has ordered a review of the program.