Quinn under attack for prisoner release program

October 22, 2010 10:37:50 AM PDT
New accusations surfaced Sunday from Republicans backing Bill Brady in the race for Illinois governor.Republicans are again taking aim at Democrat Pat Quinn for his early release prison program.

But Quinn defended himself Sunday at a 'get out the vote' rally with elected officials, clergy and community leaders.

As he prepared for a debate Sunday night, State Senator Brady did not make any public appearances. However, a group of his supporters, including a former opponent, did go on the attack accusing Governor Quinn was of continuing a controversial program he says he stopped months ago.

"I may be losing my voice, but I'm not losing my heart," said Quinn.

With 16 days to go, there is time for Gov. Pat Quinn to get his voice back, especially if he wants to defend himself against the latest attack from Republicans.

"The Quinn administration is attempting to mislead the public about the continued use of the early prisoner release program known as MGT, or Meritorious Good Time," said Republican State Sen. Kirk Dillard who represents Hinsdale.

The controversial MGT program gives a prison director discretion on releasing inmates early based on good behavior. Gov. Quinn stopped the program last November, but according to this group of Republicans, violent inmates continue to be released from Illinois prisons.

"Just in October, 235 prisoners have received discretionary good-time awards. These include violent offenders, such as aggravated sexual abuse," Dillard said.

State Sen. Kirk Dillard says, in all, more than 2,000 prisoners have been released since Quinn claims to have stopped the program cold. Dillard, who was in a long primary battle with Bill Brady for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, is now talking for his former opponent.

Brady did not make any public appearances Sunday.

"That is totally false," said Quinn.

Quinn insists the MGT program was suspended last November. The governor went on to attack Bill Brady's public safety record.

"He voted against a bill that would ban assault weapons. He voted against legislation that would ban the purchase of illegal guns at gun shows," Quinn said.

Governor Quinn says, in Bill Brady's 17 years in Springfield, he never provided help for the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Quinn and Brady address each other face-to-face during a debate in Elmhust Sunday at 8 p.m.

ABC7 Chicago and the League of Women Voters are teaming up to broadcast debates in the races for governor and the Senate. The debate between candidates for governor will be broadcast on ABC7 Wednesday at 10:35 p.m. The debate also will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. that night on ABC7's secondary channel, 7.2, and here on ABC7Chicago.com.

The Senate debate will air Tuesday at 10:35 p.m. It can also be seen live that night at 7 p.m. on 7.2 and on here online.


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