CHICAGO Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan was released from federal prison and into a Chicago halfway house Wednesday after serving more than five years for corruption.
Ryan, 78, left the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., five months before his prison term officially ended, having qualified for early release to a halfway house.
Ryan did not stop to talk to reporters before entering the Salvation Army Freedom Center on the city’s west side before dawn. He was accompanied on the ride from the prison by his attorney, another former governor, Jim Thompson, who said Ryan talked during the journey about how good it felt to be out.
“Today is another step in a long journey for George Ryan,” Thompson told the mass of reporters gathered outside the facility.
“He’s in decent spirits. It is such a stark change from penitentiary life he has to become accustomed again to being on the outside,” he said.
Ryan’s successor, Rod Blagojevich, is now Illinois’ lone imprisoned governor. The Democrat is serving a 14-year term for corruption at a federal prison in Colorado.