The DOC estimates that offenders were released an average of 49 days before their correct release date.
The new chief information officer found out how bad the problem was and alerted state officials this month, and the governor’s executive team were informed last week.
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.
As for the prisoners who were let out early, The DOC is in the process of tracking down those who still have time to serve, and a few inmates released this year have already been returned to prison, Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. When asked if any of the prisoners who were released early committed additional crimes, Brown said, We dont have the answer to that.Inslee told corrections officials to stop releasing prisoners affected by the glitch until a hand calculation is done to ensure the offender is being released on the correct date.
Officials said they do not yet know if any of the inmates released early went on to commit other crimes during the time they should have been in prison. The issue extends all the best way back to 2002, when a state Supreme Courtroom ruling required the Corrections Department to apply good-behavior credit earned in county jail to state jail sentences.
The problem was discovered in 2012 and a fix was supposed to made but was delayed on numerous occasions.
A full fix for the bug is expected to be rolled out by January 7.
Now, the DOC is trying to locate offenders who were released early and bring them back to prison to finish their sentence. Depending on how much time remains in their sentences they will either return to prison or go on work release. But a software error meant prisoners were given too many credits for good behaviour and set free early. “I expect the external investigation will bring the transparency and accountability we need to make sure this issue is resolved”, Gov. Insee added.