Murder raises questions about Early Release Program

Published 10/04 2013 01:01PM

Updated 10/04 2013 01:05PM

SPRINGFIELD -- An investigation is underway at the Illinois Department of Corrections. Joshua Jones was released from state prison in May. Police say he shot and killed a man in Decatur a few weeks later.

He was reportedly supposed to be wearing an ankle monitor at the time, but the state never gave him one. Jones was set free under the Early Release Program.

But, prison officials say that's not what's at the root of this problem. They say Jones was a non-violent offender and had to meet a lot of criteria including a lengthy review process in order to be released.

After he got the OK through the program, a different parole review board determined he needed to be put on an ankle monitor, but the employee who processed him, didn't follow the board's orders. Prison officials say they are trying to determine how it happened, but insist it doesn't mean the system is flawed.

Critics of the Early Release Program say cutting time off sentences is not a good reform measure. They're worried about public safety and that inmates will end up right back behind bars.

DOC says there's no way of knowing if the ankle monitor could have prevented the murder if Jones is responsible. Monitors don't show where an offender is, just if they're not at home or where they're supposed to be.

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