Corrections agency discovers sentence calculation problem

A dozen Washington prison inmates were incarcerated too long or released early

  • By Wire Service
  • Friday, March 1, 2019 9:55am
  • News

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA — A software problem has prompted the Department of Corrections to review up to 3,500 sentences after learning that at least a dozen Washington prison inmates were incarcerated too long or released early.

The Seattle Times reported Monday that the calculation problem involves offenders who served time in prison before being released into community supervision but then violated the terms of their releases and were returned to prison.

Two of the offenders with miscalculated sentences were released early from prison, while 10 others were held beyond their correct terms.

Information on whether the errors affected anyone in Clallam or Jefferson counties was not immediately available Monday.

Corrections officials discovered the problem last year while examining certain types of community-supervision sentences and finding they weren’t adding up correctly, possibly leading to early or late releases. Officials said they don’t know how long the miscalculations have been occurring.

Corrections Secretary Stephen Sinclair and other agency leaders said the errors do not appear as significant as those that led to a furor four years ago when Gov. Jay Inslee announced that state prisons had mistakenly released as many as 3,200 offenders over 10 years.

That scandal included two homicides linked to inmates who were released early and prompted the resignation of then-Corrections Secretary Dan Pacholke.

The most recent problems involve people in the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative program who served their prison terms and were released into community supervision but violated the terms of their conditional release. The corrections department said others started in a residential treatment program but violated those terms, sending them to prison.

Jeremy Barclay, a spokesman for the agency, said that of the 10 offenders held in prison for too long, seven are now out of confinement, and three are currently confined for unrelated reasons.

Neither of the two men who got out of prison early as a result of the latest errors were charged with crimes during the period in which they were mistakenly released, and were returned to custody to finish their prison time. They are now out on community supervision, he said.

In an email, Inslee spokeswoman Tara Lee said the governor has been briefed on the issue and had asked corrections officials to check sentencing for offenders currently in the system and as well as offenders who have recently been released.

Of the cases currently being rechecked, 2,053 offenders are currently in prison. The remaining 1,459 are on community supervision.

More in News

Able seamen Doug Reader, front, and Brandon Melville drive forklifts as they offload equipment from the ferry MV Coho after its return to Port Angeles from annual dry dock maintenance in Anacortes on Wednesday. The ferry is scheduled to resume regular service between Port Angeles and Victoria today. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Preparing for service

Able seamen Doug Reader, front, and Brandon Melville drive forklifts as they… Continue reading

Dr. Suzanne Ames.
Peninsula College adapting to next generation of students

Aim is to engage, meet workforce needs

Officials: Combine Simdars, Johnson Creek road projects

Clallam County, Sequim, tribe urge coordination

The Swiftsure, a whale-watching tour boat operated by Port Townsend-based Puget Sound Express, is the first vessel to take advantage of the early reopening of the Point Hudson Marina on Wednesday after four months of closure to rebuild its north jetty. The marina will close again after the Wooden Boat Festival ends Sept. 10, when rebuilding the south jetty will start with a scheduled re-opening in March 2024. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Point Hudson marina reopens

The Swiftsure, a whale-watching tour boat operated by Port Townsend-based Puget Sound… Continue reading

Amy Miller has been appointed to a seat on the Port Angeles City Council to fill a seat vacated by Mike French, who resigned to become a Clallam County commissioner. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Amy Miller tapped for Port Angeles City Council

Appointee fills seat vacated by Mike French

The MV Coho, pictured in dry dock at the Anacortes Ship Yards, will be back in service Thursday. Yearly maintenance began Jan. 3. The maintenance is taking a few days longer due to COVID-19 the past two years, Black Ball Ferry Line officials have said. The ship returns to twice-daily round trips across the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Victoria and Port Angeles at 8:20 a.m. Thursday. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
Coho maintenance

The MV Coho, pictured in dry dock at the Anacortes Ship Yards,… Continue reading

East Jefferson Fire Rescue town halls focus on lid lift

Ballot measure to go before voters on Feb. 14

Planning work priorities to be discussed

Jefferson County’s Board of County Commissioners and its Planning… Continue reading

Trimming an Italian plum, gleaners Scott Swantner, left, Seth Rolland and Tim Lawson devote their Sunday to trimming and pruning the Blue Heron orchard at Blue Heron Middle School in Port Townsend, to promote growth and health of the fruit trees, some of which were planted in 2010. The fruit goes to the school and is available to students. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Pruning fruit trees

Trimming an Italian plum, gleaners Scott Swantner, left, Seth Rolland and Tim… Continue reading

Most Read