prison overcrowding

The number of Illinois inmates released on parole has increased as lawmakers look to reduce the prison population.

But funding to help parolees stay out of trouble has dropped dramatically because of the state budget crisis.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the number of parolees has grown 14 percent in the past four years, to more than 28,000.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn waited until late Friday afternoon to sign Senate Bill 2621, which is intended to relieve massive overcrowding in  the state's prisons.

The measure allows the Department  of Corrections to create a new early release program for certain  non-violent offenders.