From AP - News Headlines -

George Ryan Gets Early Prison Release Date


A lawyer for George Ryan says the ex-Illinois governor is eligible to be released from federal prison on a work release program.

Ryan could be released to a halfway house as soon as Jan. 30. He will be required to get a job - or be appointed to one - and he will be free to work during the day, but he'll have to return to the facility at night.

Former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson is Ryan's attorney.

"This is a program that's widely available for federal prisoners," Thompson said. "It's nothing special for Gov. Ryan."

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said it is time for Ryan to get out of prison.

"I never felt he was a threat to society if he was walking on the streets," Cullerton said. "I think he, obviously, served a lot of time for his offense."

News of Ryan's release comes just days after a federal court struck down another one his legal appeals, but Thompson said his client is grateful.

"Any person would be grateful for any chance at even partial freedom and the chance to integrate back into society," Thompson said.

George Ryan has already served five years of a six-and-a-half year prison sentence for corruption. Thompson said they will continue appealing those convictions.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)