Illinois Prisons Shave Terms, Secretly Release Inmates
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According to the reports obtained by the AP, some prisoners that were released early include Antoine Garrett, previously convicted of armed robbery and illegal firearms possession by a felon, who got a one-year sentence after police saw him drop a bag of cocaine on the street, but spent only 21 days in jail. Or how about Jorge Bogas, who spent only 18 days behind bars, for aggravated driving under the influence after he hit two cars while driving the wrong direction on Interstate 57.
"When an individual who was supposedly sent to prison shows up less than a month later, what are the people in the community saying, what is the victim thinking?" said Winnebago County's top prosecutor, Joseph Bruscato, to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Charles Fasano, a prison monitor for the John Howard Association, said to the Sun-Times that tough-on-crime policies of the past three decades are responsible for prison overcrowding. He supports the early release but wishes lawmakers would confront the overcrowding issue, specifically long sentences for minor crimes such as drug possession. "We want to get everyone off the streets, but we don't have the money," he said. "You can't have it both ways."