South Carolina inmates mistakenly released from prison

The South Carolina prison system confirmed that 10 inmates were mistakenly released early from prison over the last two years. (Getty Images)

The South Carolina prison system confirmed that 10 inmates were mistakenly released early from prison over the last two years.

South Carolina Department of Corrections spokeswoman Chrysti Shain told The State newspaperthat the inmates were mistakenly released because of a miscalculation of their sentences. Inmates are supposed to be eligible for release only after serving 85 percent of their sentences.

She told the newspaper that the error was discovered in February while the department was reviewing records for parole. Prison officials then contacted the court system to obtain arrest warrants for the wrongly freed inmates, Shain said.

Four of the 10 inmates remain free.

Shain said most of the inmates were serving time for drug sentences. State Sen. Katrina Shealy, who spoke with corrections officials, said other crimes included burglary and domestic violence.

“SCDC has done a systematic review of its practices and has enhanced the system to make sure these types of errors will not happen again,” Shain wrote in an email to the newspaper.

The prison system did not notify the general public, but did contact the victims and notify them when the offenders had been let out of prison, Shain said

The newspaper reported that the mistaken releases occurred over a two-year period. The last of the inmates were released in error in 2018.

A spokesman for South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said the governor’s office is, “aware of the issue and is confident that SCDC has done everything possible to resolve the situation.”