Ryan leaves prison, heads home, not to halfway house

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Former governor George Ryan was released from federal prison this morning and is now back at his home in Kankakee surrounded by friends and family.

The former governor made his one and only public appearance outside a halfway house in Chicago today. Dressed in a gray coat, maroon tie and accompanied by his only son and long time friend and lawyer Jim Thompson, George Ryan, once a powerhouse Republican in Illinois surfaced at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday morning after just more than 5 years in prison. With his hands in his pockets he said nothing as he entered, then a short time later exited the building.

The fact that George Ryan walked out of prison and more or less into his own home, has more to do with his age of 78 (almost 79), than it does with preferential treatment according to the Bureau of Prisons and Ryan’s lawyer.george-ryan

By 10:30 a.m. Ryan was at home in Kankakee. The former one term governor was reunited with his six children and more than a dozen grandchildren.

But a return home for George Ryan likely feels different for him for a lot of reasons. His wife  of 50 years, Lura Lynn is no longer there. By his side every step of his courtroom fight, she died in June of 2011. Ryan had been allowed twice to leave prison to be by the side of his high school sweetheart. His brother Tom also passed away while Ryan was behind bars.

Ryan is  now ordered to home confinement until his sentence is fully served.

A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons tells WGN prisoners are eligible for home confinement when they have “six months or less than 10 percent of their sentence left.”   And while Ryan could have been required to wear an ankle bracelet, the BOP decided it wasn’t necessary in his case and maintains it is not special treatment.

Ryan was at the halfway house for a few hours at the most. how long a prisoner remains in the crowded facility depends on “financial support, family support, an approved release residence and his health issues,” said BOP spokesperson Chris Burke.

Ryan will not be living alone. His lawyer tells us his 18 year old grandson will be living with him. This home confinement chapter ends on July 4th of this year when he has fully served his time.

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  • Karen

    such a lie. he is just being treated with privileges. there are residents in a halfway house, who have to complete the orientation process, training and are waiting for their 10% date. if they are not meeting expectations they are waiting for months for any privileges, to go on passes or on a home confinement. he is just being favorized because he is a 'former governor'. he should stay at the halfway house and be treated same as other inmates, as he is one of them. bop is obviously making new rules just for him. and what is most disappointing- is that media are just repeating what they hear, instead investigate this scam.

    • Anonymous

      Karen, are you that much of a redneck that you don't understand he is almost 79 years old.? Yes he did something wrong, and he is still paying for it and will be until July 4. I am neither Republican or Democrat, but leave the guy alone. He did his time in prison, and will be paying for it for another 5 months. Find something else to complain about.

      • sharong4

        That doesn't excuse the fact that he is an ex-con now. He is not even on home monitoring. That is why the system is corrupt now. Certain people get away with certain things. If you are going to change the rules for 1, do it for all. He was old when he went to prison. There are a lot of other who have done their time and still have to go to a halfway house or come home on electric monitoring. What makes him so special? They are doing it because he WAS the Govenor and that's all. That's as bad as illegal immigrants getting drivers license.

      • Anonymoud

        Shaong4, so he is an ex-con. The system is corrupt because a 79 year old ex-con is not on home monitoring ( if in fact that is true) ? I think he is a real risk. I really don't think he got away with anything; he did 5 plus years in the gray bar hotel. By the way, your politics is showing when you talk about illegal immigrants.

      • Karen

        Dear, I am not a redneck, I truly believe that he should be treated same as his fellow inmates. And he is not, he was clearly favorized. There are residents older than him at a halfway house, with serious medical problems, they also lost their loved ones while incarcerated, they have financial and family support, and yet, they are unable to go on home confinement earlier than their 10% date, BOP is not making exceptions for them. They have to meet the criteria for home confinement, regardless of their programming status. Mr. Ryan did what he did, he served his time in a campus now he should be serving his time at a halfway house like other inmates. This is called democracy and justice, and as our Constitution states, 'no one is above the law'. This former governor is a pure example of exception to this rule.

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