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Illinois reconsiders early prisoner release

By Whitney Jones, Illinois Public Radio

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Corrections' top official says the agency is again looking to get a controversial early release program running again.

After reports surfaced that more than 1,700 offenders were released from prison, some before serving time behind bars, the Meritorious Good Time program was halted.

But now, corrections Director Michael Randle said he's working to get that program, also known as MGT, up and running again.

"Prior to us re-implementing MGT, what we want to make sure is that those offenses that we consider to be violent [are excluded].

Randle said lawmakers need to draw up legislation that determines what crimes are off limits for early release eligibility.

Earlier this year lawmakers voted to require inmates serve 60 days of their sentences before they're considered for early release.

The three-decade-old program is aimed at cutting costs and reducing prison overcrowding.