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Walker budget would expand earned release program

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal would add workers to the state’s earned release program to help as many as 250 inmates get out of prison early.

Walker’s executive budget calls for adding 16.25 positions to the program. A summary his administration released said the move could save the state $3.7 million in prison expenses over the two-year spending plan.

Under the earned release program, nonviolent offenders who participate in an alcohol and drug treatment program can get out of prison early.

A 2009 state law expanded the earned release program to allow eligible inmates who enter rehabilitation for problems not related to substance abuse to get out early. Walker scaled the program back to offer only substance abuse help in the 2011-13 state budget.

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