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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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3,200 inmates released early by computer error

OLYMPIA -- Some 3,200 inmates were released from state prisons early than they should have been because a computer error was improperly calculating their good time for the last 13 years.

Gov. Jay Inslee announced an investigation into the computer error, and the reasons it continued for more than a decade. Inslee said Tuesday about 3 percent of the prisoners released since 2002 got out early because the computer was giving them too much "good time" credit for the time they had served.

Inslee called the mistakes, which continued as updates of the computer system were repeatedly delayed "frankly maddening."

The computer error showed up in inmates who had sentence enhancements, such as committing a felony with a firearm.  A small fraction of those 3,200 will need to be returned to prison to finish their sentences, but those who have been out of prison and not committed new crimes will not, based on a court ruling that says they should get prison credit for those post-release days.


Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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