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First Illinois prisoners eligible for early release to be let out Tuesday

By Amanda Vinicky, Illinois Public Radio

Springfield, Ill. – The first wave of Illinois prisoners eligible for early release will be let out Tuesday as part of a cost-cutting move. But officials say only non-violent inmates who have less than a year left on their sentences will be released.

The Illinois Department of Corrections is starting slowly. In this first round, the state will release 62 of the 1,000 prisoners it eventually plans to let out early.

Corrections spokeswoman Januari Smith said for this initial release, the department purposefully selected inmates housed in adult transition centers.

They don't fit the typical image of a prisoner behind bars; they go to school or work during the day.

Just who the selected 62 are isn't clear. Smith said for now, the department is keeping the inmates' names and eventual addresses under wraps.

"We have notified local law enforcement agencies within the county that these folks are going back to.," Smith said. "[We're] telling them that they are going to be released early, and giving them the exact address where that person will be residing."

The released prisoners will need to wear ankle bracelets, and check in with probation officers.

Smith said the corrections department is still screening for additional inmates eligible for early release.