The legislation calling for the early releases, passed by the Legislature last year, gave some prisoners enhanced credit for good behavior or work-time while behind bars. It barred eligibility for some kinds of prisoners, such as violent or sex offenders.
As a result, most of the early-release prisoners are serving sentences for crimes such as drug possession and vehicle theft, Parker said.
"There are certain criminals we see again and again and again," Parker said. "This will mean we'll see them again and again and again, just on a faster cycle."
Previously, inmates could have up to a third of their sentences waived if they behaved well or did work while in jail. Those prisoners can now cut their sentences in half.
Gordon Hinkle, press secretary for the state Department of Corrections, said the law and another component of it affecting paroles will in the long run actually help public safety.
It's worthwhile reading the short piece in its entirety. It may be a microcosm of the implications of, and reactions to, a future larger inmate release.