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Quinn defends Illinois' early prisoner release program

By AP/St. Louis Public Radio

Chicago – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is defending his decision to release about 1,000 inmates early because of budget woes.

Quinn said the state is releasing prisoners in a "very prudent manner" and officials are monitoring them.

Inmates with a history of violence toward people are not eligible.

The Democrat said he wants to be "very cautious" about granting early releases and he says he won't rush the program.

In early November, the state started releasing some inmates up to a year early because of financial troubles.

The Department of Corrections has said the early releases could save the state $5 million.

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