A system modification was made in 2002, mistakenly counting the number of days required for early release. “It’s frustrating,” said the Governor.
A system modification in 2002 mistakenly counted the days required for early release. “It’s frustrating,” said the Governor.
More than 3,000 prisoners have been mistakenly released prematurely in Washington since 2002 due to an error state Corrections Department.
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Governor Jay Inslee told a news conference that he ordered immediate steps to correct the extended problem. “Frankly, it’s hopeless,” Inslee said.
Authorities say that a ruling by the Supreme Court in July 2002 requires the Department of Corrections to apply to state prison sentences for good behavior credits earned in the county jail.
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However, the correction was applied to the software and eventually improved prisoners’ judgments of the so-called “good time.”
An analysis showed that up to 3,200 offenders were released prematurely. The average number of days for early release was 49. Based on a previous ruling of the Supreme Court, most offenders will not have to return to prison.
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Inslee said corrections officials will halt the release of prisoners affected by the failure until a calculation is done by hand to ensure that the inmate is released on the appropriate date.
A comprehensive repair software problem is expected to be ready in January. The Governor said two federal prosecutors dropped conduct an independent investigation to find out why it took so long to discover and fix the problem.
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“I have many questions about how and why this happened, and I understand that members of the public will have the same questions,” Inslee said.