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Thousands Of Prisoners Released Early In Washington State Because Of A

“Washington’s Department of Corrections has been forced to admit that around three percent of the prison population has been released early since 2002″.

The DOC learned of the issue in 2012 and reportedly took steps to correct the problem, but the fix was delayed for reasons that are now unclear. The software change in response to that decision should have excluded good time credit for extra time spent in prison due to sentencing enhancements, as required by state law, but it did not.

According to the Associated Press, the glitch was going to affect as many as 3,100 additional prisoners who are still incarcerated.

The result is that up to 3,200 inmates have been released early to date, although a majority of those were only released as early as 55 days.

The governor of the state described the problem as deeply disappointing and has promised an independent investigation into the Washington Department of Corrections, when it emerged that the problem had existed for thirteen years. Unfortunately, the program was not coded correctly and was issuing more credit than it should have, which in turn was allowing some to be released early. The DOC has been working on an updated, corrected system since, which will roll out on January 7. A newly hired chief information officer at DOC recently became aware of the severity of the problem and alerted DOC leadership who then notified the governor.

“It is totally unacceptable, and frankly it is maddening”. Until the fix is in place, Inslee ordered the DOC to complete a calculation by hand before releasing any state prisoners. Depending on how much time they have left to serve, the offenders will go to work release or back to prison.

“I have a lot of questions about how and why this happened, and I understand that members of the public will have those same questions”, Inslee said in a statement.

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