Ill. Corrections chief stepping down

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The Illinois Corrections chief who has been blamed for a secret early prison release program is stepping down, a spokeswoman for Gov. Pat Quinn told the Chicago Tribune.
Spokeswoman Ashley Cross said Corrections Director Michael Randle is resigning as of

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Corrections chief who has been blamed for a secret early prison release program is stepping down, a spokeswoman for Gov. Pat Quinn told the Chicago Tribune.
Spokeswoman Ashley Cross said Corrections Director Michael Randle is resigning as of Sept. 17 to "pursue a new opportunity." She said a replacement will be named "shortly."
The newspaper reported in a story posted on its website early Thursday that the governor’s office would formally announce Randle’s departure for an out-of-state job later in the day.
A report last month said the Department of Corrections failed to consider possible dangers to the public when it tried to save money by granting early release to prisoners, some of them violent.
Quinn, a Democrat, has heaped most of the blame on Randle, who has said Quinn ordered that violent offenders not be part of the early-release program.
Randle’s departure comes as Quinn’s Republican opponent in the governor’s race, Bill Brady, has called on Quinn to fire Randle over the early release of inmates. Quinn has repeatedly said he would not fire Randle.
Under the early release program, inmates were given time off as soon as they walked through the prison doors. The Corrections Department dropped its policy of requiring prisoners to serve at least 61 days before getting any time off for good behavior.
The change meant some inmates were released after serving just a few days behind bars.
Quinn canceled MGT Push — named for the "meritorious good time" that was granted to prisoners — after The Associated Press revealed the program’s existence last fall. By then, some 1,700 inmates had been granted early release, including hundreds of prisoners with records of violence.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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