Governor, DOC address computer glitch that releases thousands of prisoners early

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- As many as 3200 inmates have been released early over the last 13 years from the Washington state prison system.

Governor Jay Inslee announced the news in a press conference earlier Tuesday afternoon.

Governor Inslee didn`t hide his disappointment as he made this announcement. He said this is a problem he wants to see corrected immediately.

The governor`s office says the issue dates back to 2002. That`s when the state supreme court ruling required the department of corrections to apply 'good time' credits to inmates sentences. However, Inslee said the programming fix ended up giving prisoners with sentencing enhancements too much ‘good time.’

“This problem that was allowed to continue for 13 years is deeply disappointing, it`s unacceptable and frankly it`s maddening,” said Inslee.

According to a timeline released by the state, the DOC changed good time coding in July 2002, which contained the computer glitch.

In December 2012, a victim`s family brought up concern about the release of an offender, which was the first time the department became aware of the issue.

From December 2012 to 2015, the DOC worked to fix the problem, but the coding fix was repeatedly delayed.

Just last week, the DOC leadership briefed the governor`s office of the issue.

The governor said he ordered the DOC to halt all releases of offenders within the group affected by this glitch, until their release date is hand calculated and personally verified.

A broader software fix is expected to be in place by early January.