Former Gov. George Ryan was released from house arrest today at about 7:30 a.m.
Ryan, sentenced to 6-1/2 years on racketeering and fraud charged, served a bit longer than five years in a prison in Terre Haute, IN, and has spent the last five months under house arrest at his Kankakee home. His home confinement was scheduled to end July 4 but will end Wednesday early because of the holiday.
After a brief stop at the Chicago home of former Gov. Jim Thompson — Ryan’s lawyer — Ryan reported Jan. 30 to the Near West Side halfway house where he expected to finish out his term, only to be told that the Bureau of Prisons had decided he should finish the final five months of his sentence on home confinement.
Most former prisoners spend at least a few weeks at the halfway house — not a few hours as Ryan did — before being allowed home. But Ed Ross, a spokesman with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons in Washington, D.C., said at the time that so quick a release is “very common” for elderly inmates.