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California releases 450 ‘violent and dangerous’ criminals after computer glitch sets them free

May 27, 2011 Comments off

Hundreds of violent and dangerous prisoners have been released on unsupervised parole in California because of a computer glitch, according to the state’s inspector general.

Software errors led prison officials to mistakenly release some 450 inmates deemed to have a ‘high risk for violence’, as part of a programme meant to ease overcrowding in the state’s jails.

And more than 1,000 additional convicts said to present a high risk of committing drugs crimes, property crimes and other offences were also freed.

Overcrowded: Hundreds of violent criminals have been released from prison early on unsupervised parole after a computer error Overcrowded: Hundreds of violent criminals have been released from prison early on unsupervised parole after a computer error

The news comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California’s prisons are dangerously overcrowded, and upheld a ruling giving the state two years to slash prisoner numbers.

No attempt has since been made to return any of the offenders to prison or to put them on supervised parole schemes, inspector general spokesman Renee Hansen told the LA Times.

All of the released prisoners have been placed on so-called ‘non-revocable parole’ – meaning that they do not have to report to parole officers and can only be sent back to prison if they are caught committing another crime.

Inmates who are gang members, sex criminals or violent criminals are determined to pose a risk of re-offending and are not thought to be suitable for the scheme.

But a report by the inspector general found that the computer programme that officials Read more…