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George Ryan Leaving Prison For Halfway House By Wednesday

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CHICAGO (CBS) — After serving six years for a corruption conviction, former Gov. George Ryan is due to be transferred this week to a Chicago halfway house.

The former governor won’t be entirely free until his sentence runs out in July.

But, he’ll be getting his first taste of freedom where most former prisoners do–the Salvation Army halfway house at Monroe and Ashland.

Ryan has been serving his sentence in Terre Haute, Ind., and is expected to leave there by Wednesday

John Maki with the John Howard Association, a prison reform group, says that’s aimed at easing his transition, one that’s likely to be challenging given his age–he’ll be just weeks from his 79th birthday–and the absence of his wife, of 55 years, Lura Lynn, who died while he was behind bars.

“When you lose people in your life, when you lose your support systems, the people you rely on, it’s very, very difficult,” Maki said.

Maki says some prisoners come out newly dedicated to helping former inmates.

Because Ryan was already sympathetic to Death Row prisoners when he went in that could be something he’d be interested in.

Ryan, citing concerns over several Illinois death penalty cases, cleared death row as governor. The state has since outlawed capital punishment.