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Walker signs bill doing away with early release

Walker signs bill doing away with early release

By the Associated Press. CREATED Jul 19, 2011

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that ends an early prison release program put in place by Democrats two years ago.

Walker signed the bill Tuesday at the Wisconsin State Patrol's Eau Claire office.

Repealing the program passed the Republican-controlled Legislature earlier this year with bipartisan support.

Former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle proposed the early release program, which allowed well-behaved inmates to move onto extended supervision sooner to alleviate prison crowding and save money. About 500 inmates have been released through the program between October 2009 and this past March.

Republicans who pushed to end the program say it endangers public safety, while Democratic supporters say it gives inmates an incentive to behave.

Republican Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder sponsored the repeal and says Wisconsin is now safer.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)