Oops: Colorado Releases Hundreds of Prisoners Early

Court deciding who should go back to jail

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 15, 2013 1:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – Hundreds of Colorado inmates have gotten early tickets out of the big house thanks to clerical errors, an audit by the state's Department of Corrections has revealed. Judges are currently looking over the cases to determine how many of the freed convicts should be locked back up, the Denver Post reports. So far, the audit raised "serious questions" about 349 inmates who have either already been released or are scheduled for release.

And that might just be the tip of the iceberg; the state has picked out 8,415 cases that merit review, and if errors keep turning up at this rate, there will be "serious" flaws in 1,000 of them. "I think it would be logical to be concerned," the interim head of the department says, though he noted that statistics show that most of the offenders released early aren't likely to harm anyone.

A gate yawns open at a former women's prison in Colorado.
A gate yawns open at a former women's prison in Colorado.   (Wikimedia/Jeffrey Beall)
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