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Walker signs bill doing away with early release (UPDATE)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that ends an early prison release program put in place by Democrats two years ago.

Walker signed the bill Tuesday at the Wisconsin State Patrol’s Eau Claire office.

Repealing the program passed the Republican-controlled Legislature earlier this year with bipartisan support.

Former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle proposed the early release program, which allowed well-behaved inmates to move onto extended supervision sooner to alleviate prison crowding and save money. About 500 inmates have been released through the program between October 2009 and this past March.

Republicans who pushed to end the program say it endangers public safety, while Democratic supporters say it gives inmates an incentive to behave.

Republican Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder sponsored the repeal and says Wisconsin is now safer.

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  1. 500 unnecessarily incarcerated inmates times $32,000 per year in saved taxpayer expense equals $16,000,000 (16 MILLION dollars) in savings to taxpayers from the bill just abolished by Walker and the Republicans. Have they suggested how they are going to make up for that lost savings, or will they just take more money away from school children?

  2. On top of the increased cost to keep non-violent, drug offenders behind bars (they’re more a danger to themselves than to society) the vast majority are sent to minimum security prisons like Milwaukee Woman’s Corrections Center on work-release status. My own daughter is there.
    HOWEVER, Superintendent Schuab apparently doesn’t like her inmates doing much of anything; no community service, one basic computer class, hardly a book in the library and certainly NO going to work! Very few (approx 1/3) of these women are EVER allowed to get a real job. Instead, they are relegated to working within the prison scrubbing toilets etc., or at Secure Detention Facility doing laundry for .40 cents to $1.00 an hour MAX!
    IF they were allowed to go out and work like they are supposed to, they would PAY THE STATE $22.50 a day. Instead these women ultimately leave the prison without a penny to their names and no viable way to re-start life. Many are doomed before they walk out the door. What is wrong with this picture?

  3. Non violent first offenders deserve a break!

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