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Budget panel repeals early release program

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s budget committee has repealed an early release prison program Democrats initiated two years ago.

The program allows well-behaved inmates to move 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 October 2009 and March.

Republicans have balked at the program. The state Assembly is poised to pass a separate GOP bill doing away with the program next week.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s executive budget proposes wiping out the program as well. The Republican-controlled budget committee approved the proposal on a party-line 12-4 vote Tuesday evening. Committee Democrats complained the move would drive up prison costs.

The committee is expected to finish revising the budget later this week.

One comment

  1. So much for the myth that Republicans are interested in saving taxpayer money rather than just pursuing a rightwing partisan agenda. We already unnecessarily lock up more than twice as many of our citizens than does Minnesota, despite equivalent crime rates and population statistics, costing Wisconsin taxpayers about $350 MILLION a year. And now the Republicans want to cost taxpayers even more by unnecessarily keeping even more people in prison.

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