State spends millions to keep parolees behind bars

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — It’s costing Illinois as much as $25 million a year to keep inmates in prison because they can’t find a suitable place to live according to the terms of their parole.

The Chicago Tribune reported nearly 1,250 inmates are held beyond their release dates yearly. It mostly affects sex offenders, who face housing restrictions, as well as those subject to electronic monitoring as part of parole.

Corrections officials said this practice, known as a “turnaround,” began about a decade ago. They’re frustrated by delays, but said they’re tied by these restrictions. Critics said the poor are unfairly impacted.

A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections said it costs nearly $22,000 a year to keep an inmate in prison, while parole costs about $2,000.