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Legislature moves to end early release

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled state Legislature has moved closer to repealing an early release program for prison inmates approved by Democrats.

The Assembly gave preliminary approval Tuesday to doing away with the program. Assembly Democrats used a procedural move to block final passage. The bill passed the Senate last week.

Gov. Scott Walker supports doing away with the program, under which well-behaved inmates are moved onto extended supervision sooner as a means of alleviating prison crowding and to save money. About 500 inmates have been released through the program between when it started in October 2009 and March.

Democratic opponents Tuesday raised concerns about the cost of housing prison inmates, saying the early release program targeting non-violent offenders was a good way to alleviate stress on the system.

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