Orlando Wright (259030)

A man who was released early from a Washington state prison due to a software glitch is suing the Department of Corrections, saying his re-arrest three years later to serve the remaining time was illegal and upended the life he had painstakingly rebuilt, reports the Associated Press. Orlando Wright was released in 2012, 76 days early, from his eight-year term for robbery. He was one of more than 3,000 inmates released prematurely due to a coding error, which lasted from 2002 to 2015. State authorities discovered the problem in 2012, but fixes were repeatedly delayed before the department notified Gov. Jay Inslee in late 2015. Amid a public outcry, the department re-arrested some offenders it had released early. Among them was Wright, who by then says he had obtained an apartment, a car and a job at a car wash; enrolled in a welding program at a technical school; and had a baby daughter, whom he saw regularly. When he was released again in April 2016, that was all gone. He wandered the streets of Seattle for nearly two weeks, homeless. “Seventy-six days: It’s just long enough to lose everything,” he said. Spokesman Jeremy Barclay said the department does not comment on pending litigation. According to a department report, officials reviewed more than 1,500 releases dating to 2011 and determined that 116 offenders should be re-arrested. Authorities decided not to re-arrest more than 1,000 others, under a state Supreme Court decision which held prisoners mistakenly released are entitled to credit for time spent at liberty if they don’t “abscond legal obligations.” It’s not clear why officials targeted Wright, but it is possible they declined to credit the time he spent in the community because he had supervision violations, including drinking alcohol and failing to report, in the months after his release. He later completed alcohol treatment, and in early 2015 — a year before he was re-arrested — his community corrections officer notified King County Superior Court that Wright had “successfully completed his DOC supervision.”