Illinois to receive over 200 inmates as part of largest one-time prisoner release

Six thousand drug offenders will be released Friday and Monday as part of the largest one-time federal prison release ever.

Illinois is among the states receiving the highest number of prisoners with more than 200 returning to the state.

A bi-partisan commission decided to lower the punishment for non-violent drug offenders. The inmates had a chance to apply for an early release and it was granted for more than 6,000 of them. Of that number, about 1,700 are slated for deportation to their home countries while the rest will be dispersed to their home states.

Texas will receive 597, Florida will receive 310 while Illinois receives 260. A justice department official says 77 percent of those being released are already in halfway houses or in home confinement.

The releases are part of new drug sentencing guidelines and reviews determined they won't be a threat to the public.