Updated 5:36 pm EDT, Monday, July 9, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel ripped the Democratic gubernatorial candidates’ proposals to release inmates from Wisconsin prisons Monday, calling the plans irresponsible and dangerous.

Schimel said during a conference call with reporters that the Democrats’ plans are too vague and would result in violent criminals walking the streets. He added that the governor has very little power when come to releasing inmates and questioned how Democrats would defend early release to crime victims.

Judges don’t send people to prison lightly, Schimel said. Most inmates have lengthy criminal records or have done something so shocking they had to go to prison, he said.

“I’m stunned at the irresponsible proposals being made,” the attorney general said. “Either the individuals making these proposals do not understand what they’re saying or they’re trying to mislead the public.”

Eight Democrats are running for governor, including state schools Superintendent Tony Evers; former legislator Kelda Roys; attorney Josh Pade; former Wisconsin Democratic Party chairman Matt Flynn; liberal activist Mike McCabe; state firefighter union leader Mahlon Mitchell; state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout; and Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.

Seven candidates told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week about their plans for state prisons. Wisconsin’s prison population stood at 23,519 inmates as of the end of 2017, according to state Department of Corrections report. Sixty-seven percent of inmates had committed a violent offense.

Evers wants to release inmates early, provide more drug treatment for inmates and treat 17-year-olds as juveniles rather than adults. Roys said she would cut the prison population in half by granting more paroles, releasing ill and aging inmates, expanding division programs, legalizing marijuana, pardoning drug offenders and overhauling Wisconsin’s truth-in-sentencing law.

Flynn promised to pardon anyone convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses.

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