NC Inmates Held From Release Programs

North Carolina is preventing the 20 inmates caught in a legal dispute from participating in work and community programs that allow them time outside of prison.

Department of Correction spokesman Keith Acree said Friday the inmates have been riding an emotional roller coaster and officials didn't want them to make any rash decisions while in society. Acree said the state expects to restore out-of-prison privileges early next week.

The quandary began last week, when the state announced that the 20 inmates would be released following a Supreme Court ruling that limited the length of their "life" sentences. Gov. Beverly Perdue announced Thursday that she would block their release, arguing that good behavior credits they had accrued were improperly applied.

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