Latest in Culture

Image credit:

Software glitch let 3,200 US prison inmates out early

Washington State's Department of Corrections incorrectly-programmed systems shortened sentences.
Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
December 23, 2015
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

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 issue, which was admitted yesterday by Governor Jay Inslee, surrounds a software glitch that's been incorrectly calculating the duration of inmates sentences. According to the Seattle Times, a Supreme Court ruling mandated that good time credits should be used to reduce prison terms. When the DoC's computer systems were amended to take that into consideration, however, there was an inaccurate calculation of how long a good time credit was. Unfortunately, it wasn't until 2012 when the family of a victim raised the issue of a prisoner's release, that the department became aware.

Administrators believe that the error was responsible for upwards of 3,200 inmates being released ahead of time. In addition, a further 3,100 who were on course for early release have had their sentences corrected before they could get out. According to Nicholas Brown, Inslee's general counsel, there shouldn't be much for local Washingtonians to get concerned about. The errors mostly knocked 100 days or so off sentences, and, so far, it doesn't look as if anyone too dangerous was released too early. Still, it's not going to be a fun couple of months for whoever committed the software error in the first place -- a formal investigation headed by two former federal prosecutors kicks off in the near future.

[Image Credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

View
'Xbox Series S' console revealed by controller packaging

'Xbox Series S' console revealed by controller packaging

View
Space Force official logo and motto unveiled

Space Force official logo and motto unveiled

View
Watch AI-controlled virtual fighters take on an Air Force pilot August 18th

Watch AI-controlled virtual fighters take on an Air Force pilot August 18th

View
Nintendo 'gigaleak' reveals the classic games that never were

Nintendo 'gigaleak' reveals the classic games that never were

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr