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Computer Error Blamed for Mistaken Release of 1,450 "High Risk" California Prisoners

Photo by Thomas Hawk via flickr.
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Just two days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California prisons were indeed overcrowded and ordered the state to reduce its 140,000+ inmate population by about 33,000, a critical error was made and the blame is being placed squarely on a computer.

California prison officials mistakenly released an estimated 450 inmates with "a high risk for violence" as unsupervised parolees in a program meant to ease overcrowding, according to the state's inspector general.

More than 1,000 additional prisoners at high risk of committing drug crimes and other non-violent crimes were also mistakenly released, officials said.

According to the LA Times:

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No attempt was made to return any of the offenders to state lockups or place them on supervised parole, said inspector general spokeswoman Renee Hansen. All of the prisoners were placed on "non-revocable parole," whose participants are not required to report to parole officers and can be sent back to prison only if caught committing a crime. The program was started in January 2010 for inmates judged to be at very low risk of reoffending, leaving parole agents free to focus on supervising higher-risk parolees.