SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois lawmakers are telling Gov. Pat Quinn to reduce prison crowding with a new early release program.
The House voted 68-50 Thursday to reinstate sentence credits for prisoners who stay out of trouble behind bars or participate in self-improvement programs.
Non-violent inmates could qualify for as much as six months' time off their sentences.
Quinn shut down a similar program in 2009 after The Associated Press reported his Corrections Department released violent inmates weeks or even days after arriving at prison.
Now, the prison population is 14,000 over capacity. Officials fear a lawsuit over the congestion.
Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie says her plan won't lead to another scandal. It allows disqualifying violent prisoners and giving credit for programs completed in county jail.
The bill is SB2621
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)