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Crime, Law and Justice
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Early Release Of Inmates Subject Of Marathon Hearing Monday

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The accidental early release of nearly 3,000 Washington prison inmates will be the subject of a three hour legislative hearing Monday. Meanwhile, the findings of a separate investigation ordered by Governor Jay Inslee are expected to be released this week.

The Law and Justice Committee in the Washington Senate plans to call four witnesses. They will testify under oath, but not under subpoena. The hearing is part of a Senate Republican-led inquiry into a sentencing calculation error that was first flagged in 2012, but not fixed until earlier this year.

The inmates who got out early had a sentencing enhancement for using a gun in the commission of their crime or some other aggravating factor. Two of the inmates let out early have been charged in connection with deaths that occurred during the time they should have still been locked up.

Senate Republicans have hired a former federal prosecutor to investigate and issued a subpoena for records from the Department of Corrections. Already three state officials including the Secretary of Corrections have resigned.