Early criminal release program approved again

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A controversial program which lets less violent criminals out of jail early was approved in the Erie County Legislature Thursday.

Lawmakers voted yes to the program with the goal of reducing the number of people in jails and to give criminals a second chance. The Erie County Sheriff says conditional release programs have a track record of success.

Last week the Legislature held a public meeting asking taxpayers for their opinions. Many members of the public said the program should make a return. It was commuted in 2005 when a budget crunch cut the program.

Now up to 25 inmates from the Erie County Holding Center who were convicted of non-violent crimes will have the opportunity to get out. They’ll enter a program to put them back on the right track.

The program passed by a vote of eight to three.

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