A prisoner release program is at the center of a new attack on Gov. Pat Quinn—just like it was in the last governor’s race. This time it’s Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner accusing Quinn of letting out thousands of violent criminals who went on to commit further crimes, including murder. “Pat Quinn is failing on violent crime,” Rauner said. “We have got to change that, and he’s got to come out and explain why he’s failing, and we’ve got to turn this around.”
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This was also an issue in the 2010 election, and the Quinn campaign issued a similar response, claiming Quinn shut down the program once he learned about it. Quinn’s running mate, Paul Vallas, thinks the matter has been resolved. “My only response to that is to say now they’re really getting desperate if they go back to 2010 stories,” Vallas said. Under the old program, some inmates were being released after spending only a few days in a state prison. A revamped early release program was implemented in 2013, under which prisoners can be released a few months short of the end of their sentences.