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Lawmakers debate end to early prison release

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State lawmakers are debating a Republican bill to end former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle’s early prison release program.

The Assembly is considering the measure. The Senate passed it last month.

Doyle introduced early release in his last state budget. The program allows well-behaved inmates to move onto extended supervision sooner as a means of alleviating prison crowding and save money. About 500 inmates have been released through the program between its start in October 2009 and this past March.

Republicans say the program is a disaster and endangers the public. Assembly Democrats say the GOP is resorting to scare tactics and the state needs to spend more on schools and less on prisons.

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