Last December I told you about how the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) had accidentally released approximately 3,200 inmates from their prison system due to a “sentencing computation issue”. This “computation issue” occurred over a 13 year period.
It was disclosed a week later that one of those prisoners accidentally released early had been charged with killing his girlfriend in a car crash when he should have been behind bars.
Then another week later it was disclosed that another prisoner mistakenly released three months early had been charged with shooting and killing a teenager. The perp committed that crime less than two weeks after early release.
Now, a month after the initial story came to light, the Seattle Times reports that the DOC has failed to disclose essential information that would allow the public to check its work in trying to fix those errors. The department has not fulfilled ongoing requests by The Seattle Times and others to fully disclose records for up to 3,200 prisoners the agency estimates may have been released early by mistake.
Guess what the DOC can’t even do? Specify when prisoners were to be released along with their actual release date — even for cases officials say have been cleared.
Without those dates, it is impossible for victims’ families, the media or anyone who might be interested to check whether the DOC has wrongly cleared cases in which an inmate has committed a crime while he or she still should have been in prison.
And guess what the DOC’s excuse is? “It’s not intentional; it’s more unintentional,” said DOC spokesman Jeremy Barclay. “It just takes a little bit more time to populate those (data) fields and get them posted so that you and everybody can see them on the website.”
That’s there excuse? Seems to me it would take a hot minute to enter a date in a computer and hit “update”, “refresh”, or whatever is necessary to update information. But that’s just me. Government always has to make everything as complicated as possible. Including determining accountability.
Read the rest of the story here.
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