Two instances of deaths have been reported after the unfortunate and accidental early release of prison inmates due to computer glitches. These types of reports feed fear of further tragedy, after a Washington State report found that as many as 3,200 convicted offenders since 2002 have received accidental early-release due to software issues.
In May of last year, Jeramiah Smith was accidentally released three weeks early. In the beginning of June Smith was re-arrested for a deadly shooting that occurred during an alleged burglary.
Another death that might have been avoided occurred when another inmate was released in August, when he was in fact actually due for release in December. According to reports, Robert Jackson was behind the wheel when he crashed the vehicle he was driving, throwing the passenger from the car and leaving her with deadly injuries.
Police reported that he smelled like alcohol when he was finally apprehended.
These incidences, along with the alarming number of inmates accidentally released early, raise many concerns and questions about the safety and security of the general public, and about exactly how reliant the Corrections Department is on potentially faulty technology.
The department reportedly has had an open request to examine the database issue that has led to so many releases, but it has been delayed an approximated 16 times since 2012, and is now not scheduled until later this month.
In the meantime, the release dates of prisoners who have earned ‘good behavior’ points are being calculated by hand.