Jay Inslee must have hoped that his swift “action” – if you call announcing a months-long investigation an “action” – would drain public interest in the story of his Department of Corrections letting prison inmates out early due to a computer glitch that started in 2002. And that glitch has been known to the agency for at least three years.
Instead, as more information is released to the public, the Democrat scandal more than 12 years in the making just gets worse.
Today, Inslee’s appointee to run the department admitted that “the software fix that would have ended the mistaken early release of thousands of inmates from state prisons was delayed 16 times since 2012, Corrections Secretary Dan Pacholke said Tuesday.”
That’s right, 16 times the crack team that Jay Inslee has in place at the Corrections Department found more important things to do than to stop letting felons out of prison before their sentence was completed.
As the Seattle Times editorialized, “the serious lapse in management at the Inslee Administration’s Department of Corrections is a breach of public trust…
“This is a management debacle. Whether by incompetence or malfeasance, the DOC’s managers failed taxpayers by not ensuring convicted felons served their full sentences.”
Of course, Inslee has not exactly been a great example of transparency in his leadership on public safety issues. Remember his decision in his first year as governor to unilaterally end the death penalty in Washington State, after never mentioning during his campaign that he had concerns about the death penalty. And that he did so without consulting with the families who lost loved ones to the men on Washington’s death row?
Or, earlier this year, when Inslee’s same team at Corrections decided that it would be best to send Green River Killer Gary Ridgway, “the notorious Green River Killer, from solitary confinement at Walla Walla to a less-secure prison in Colorado, where he might mingle with other prisoners and presumably have a more pleasant experience.”
In an editorial written by Congressman Dave Reichert and State Senator Mike Padden, they nail the issue squarely: “We see these incidents as part of an unfortunate pattern that has emerged in Olympia in recent years. The officials who administer criminal sentences have become indifferent to the concerns of crime victims and their families, and they have lost sight of their duty to see justice done.”
Now we’ll see if this latest scandal will actually cause Inslee to hold someone at Corrections accountable for their failures, or whether he’ll just hope the scandal blows over.