Illinois may release up to 11,000 non-violent prisoners from prisons across the state in an effort to save taxpayers more than $100 million, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois is considering releasing prisoners convicted of drug charges and other non-violent crimes who are near the end of their sentence in order to lay off 1,000 prison workers — and boost the state’s bottom line.
The state’s Department of Corrections is currently creating a list of qualifying prisoners who may be released as soon as September.
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich repeatedly threatened to shut down entire prisons in order to save the state money, but was never successful. Quinn’s plan would reduce the demand on each prison without closing any facilities.
Quinn has said that if his plan is not successful, the state will have to raise income tax.
About half of the states in the nation are considering similar measures to adjust deficits. Illinois spends roughly $26,000 a year to keep a prisoner behind bars.