It’s been around only since 2009, but Republican lawmakers are looking to roll back a program that lets certain inmates out of Wisconsin prisons ahead of schedule. Early release was enacted as part of former Governor Jim Doyle’s last state budget.
State Representative Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee), a former county judge, thinks the program has its place. Kessler says the cost saving measure allows well behaving inmates who have served their time to return to the community.
Kessler says ending the program removes a strong incentive for prisoners to behave in a decent way while they are incarcerated.
Republican Representative Steve Kestell (R-Elkhart Lake) says early release sends the wrong message. He says those in prison have been more than a “little naughty” and deserve to be there.
State Representative Scott Krug (R-Wisconsin Rapids) says there are options available to “weed out” those who don’t really belong in the state prison system. With many other programs in place, Krug says those who actually end up in prison need to be there.
A vote on the bill is expected in the state Assembly later today.