Although many inmates unsuccessfully fight to be released on parole, one Maryland woman did not have to put any effort in at all. That is because she was mistakenly released from a women’s prison before her sentence was completed. The error appears to be caused by a clerical misstep, as an additional sentence term was never added to the books.
Official reports show that the woman was serving two concurrent terms for first-degree burglary and property crimes, which were served in the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women beginning last summer. The woman’s full sentence comprised more than a decade in custody, but she was slated for early release through supervised probation. The woman has received approval in March for parole, but she returned to prison months later after a probation violation. The woman had also violated parole in connection with a June 2012 conviction, for which she received an additional two-year sentence.
However, information about the additional sentence levied against the woman after the most recent violation was never recorded by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. The woman was released mistakenly in early December after only her first probation violation had been served. Authorities say the woman was taken into custody on Dec. 20 without incident.
This case provides a prime example of the paperwork missteps that can cause probation and parole woes for inmates throughout the state of Maryland. Those criminal defendants can suffer because of misplaced or misinterpreted paperwork. As a result, they may be subject to additional penalties or even termination of probation, which can lead to an additional prison sentence. Criminal defense attorneys can help protect the rights of these criminal defendants, who deserve not only a fair legal proceeding but also proper handling of their probation and parole paperwork.
Source: Baltimore Sun, “Inmate in Jessup women’s prison released early by mistake” Colin Campbell, Dec. 19, 2013