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Illinois Prisoner Released Early Re-Arrested for Murder

Via the Chicago Tribune:

Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday defended the Illinois Department of Corrections after an inmate who was released from prison early under a reworked good time credit program was charged with murder.

The Democratic governor called the situation “tragic” but said corrections officials followed the law when they released Joshua Jones from prison five months before the end of his four-year sentence for dealing cocaine.

Jones initially was scheduled to be released from state custody in October but was paroled May 3 after corrections officials determined he was eligible for early release based in part on his good conduct behind bars. Authorities say that Jones shot and killed Marvin Perry during a dispute in Decatur on Aug. 15.

The program Jones was released under is known as the “supplemental sentence credit,” which allows inmates in jail on non-violent convictions to be released up to six months early by earning credit for things such as completing drug treatment classes. The policy was an initiative of lawmakers who wanted to replace a similar program that Quinn ended in late 2009 after it was discovered that thousands of inmates had been released after only a few weeks in custody to cut costs. . .

The "Tribune" story above, however, doesn't tell the entire story. More details on Joshua Jones from the "Herald-Review":

A few hours later, parolee Joshua A. Jones, 25, was arrested on a warrant by Decatur police officers and U.S. marshals.

Jones is expected to be formally charged with first-degree murder in circuit court next week. He is being held in the Macon County Jail without bond.

Jones was released from prison May 3 after serving 19 months of a four-year sentence for dealing cocaine and heroin as part of a plea deal in which firearms charges were dropped.

In that 2011 case, he ran from police while carrying a handgun and refused to obey commands to drop his weapon.

So Jones served only 19 months of his full sentence, and he had the most serious charges dropped in the plea deal. Illinois is a "tragic mistake" and the citizens are getting murdered because of it.

- Greg Pollowitz

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