How did they not catch that mistake?
More than 3,000 prisoners in Washington state were mistakenly released early over the past 13 years due to a calculation glitch by the state’s Department of Corrections, leaving officials scrambling to re-incarcerate some inmates and investigate why the problem took so long to correct.
Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee announced the blunder on Tuesday and said he has ordered immediate steps to correct the longstanding computer glitch.
“Frankly, it is maddening,” Inslee said.
The problem extends all the way back to 2002, when a state Supreme Court ruling required the Corrections Department to apply good-behavior credits earned in county jail to state prison sentences. However, the programming fix ended up giving prisoners with sentencing enhancements too much so-called good time credit.
The state government said a preliminary analysis indicates as many as 3,200 inmates may have been released early – impacting roughly 3 percent of all releases in that time.
Inslee’s general counsel, Nicholas Brown, said most of the errors were 100 days or less. In some cases, inmates were released just a few days early, but at least one person who is still incarcerated had a release date that was off by about 600 days.
Based on a prior Supreme Court ruling, most of the affected offenders won’t have to go back to prison. But officials have identified at least seven prisoners who were freed but haven’t reached their corrected release date yet, and they will need to return to prison. Five of them have already been re-incarcerated.
The Department of Corrections was first alerted to the error in December 2012, when a victim’s family learned of a prisoner’s imminent release. The family did its own calculations and found he was being credited with too much time.
Read more: Fox News