Computer system errors accidentally released more than 450 inmates with “a high risk of violence” from California prisons. What might be even worse is that no attempt has been made to return any of them back to prison.
The prisoners were accidentally placed on ‘non-revocable parole’ which means they don’t have to report to any parole officers. Non-revocable parole is a program originally created to combat the overcrowding of prisons by releasing inmates with a low risk of reoffending. Those with ‘a high risk of violence’ don’t really qualify, you know.
Inmates are supposed to be excluded from non-revocable parole if they are “gang members, have committed sex crimes or violent velonies or have been determined to pose a high risk to reoffend based on an assessment of their records behind bars”. But according to the inspection:
The computer program prison officials used to make that assessment does not access an inmate’s disciplinary history. The program also relies on a state Department of Justice system that records arrests but is missing conviction information for nearly half of the state’s 16.4 million arrest records.
Without that information about disciplinary history, they’re completely disregarding their own criteria. And though prison officials say they’ve addressed some of the computer errors, they still can’t access an inmate’s disciplinary record. So the system is still fucked. And with the overpopulation of prisons a major issue in California, who knows if they’ll even bother fixing it. [LA Times via BoingBoing]
Image credit: AP