By releasing those inmates from prison in the next few weeks, Gov. Pat Quinn's administration hopes to save millions of dollars and usher in other alternatives to incarceration. But the cost-cutting early releases are opposed by police, prosecutors and some crime victims.The idea is that about a thousand inmates will be released, up to a year early, in order to save money.
State officials contend they will release only nonviolent drug and property crime offenders with no previous parole violations and no outstanding warrants or orders of protection taken out against them.That's somewhat reassuring--I certainly would be more upset if the plan was for early release on violent crime convictions. Also, as an opponent of the "War on (Some) Drugs," I don't believe there should be "drug crimes" (aside from things like drugging people without their knowledge and consent).
On the other hand, because of this long "war," much of the drug culture is intertwined with the gang culture, and the probability that some of these "nonviolent" drug offenders actually have some violent crime in their past has to be, in my estimation, a fair amount above zero. Additionally, the way I read the above, the claim isn't that the convicts have no record of violent crime--only that this incarceration is not for a violent crime. Finally, the Illinois "justice" system is infamously of the revolving-door, "catch-and-release" type, whereby even when there is not an early release, the time spent in prison is rather brief.
I'm not the only one (no--not that kind of "Only One") with concerns:
It is a politically charged issue. Even supporters recognize the potential pitfalls, pointing to the occasional high-profile cases of convicts committing heinous crimes while on electronic monitoring.What especially caught my eye was this:
Julius Anderson, a sex offender released from prison, was suspected in two brutal rapes last summer while on electronic monitoring. The attorney general's office says Anderson disappeared Aug. 7, but a special agent was not assigned by corrections to find him until Aug. 19.
"They've done their best to eliminate violent offenders, but someone is bound to commit murder, armed robbery or rape," said David Olson, a professor of criminal justice at Loyola University Chicago, who serves on an advisory board to the state Department of Corrections. "It won't do the victim any good to say this was bound to happen even if the person got out one year later."
Most of the inmates will return to Cook County.And, I'd wager most of those are returning to Chicago, which along with Oak Park (also in Cook County), still bans handguns. Cook County also bans so-called "assault weapons" (not that such a ban make any difference to murderous thugs like Carail Weeks.
Finally, nowhere in Illinois is the right to carry a loaded defensive handgun available to the law-abiding citizen.
In other words, more thugs will be on the streets, unleashed on citizens whose ability to defend themselves from them remains evilly hamstrung. That's Illinois.