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A glitch in the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC) computer system kept an inmate in prison for five extra months. Human error was also involved.

The inmate is Kentucky resident David Reyes. Authorities arrested Reyes in October 2015 on charges of sexual misconduct, unlawful imprisonment, and assault charges. Reyes pleaded guilty, and as part of the plea agreement, he received a prison sentence of nearly one year.

He was supposed to be released on September 25, 2016, but was only set free on February 13, 2017, after his family hired a lawyer who filed a grievance a judge.

Prison IT system has problems saving data

According to an LMDC internal audit obtained by Louisville news outlets [1, 2], a glitch prevented the IT system from saving Reyes' new release date to the prison's database.

Human error also played a part. Prison supervisors sent a notification that the system was not saving information correctly, telling data entry operators to double-check the data they entered in the system.

The LMDC report identifies the prison technician who entered Reyes' data as Jacora Smith. Smith told auditors that she felt unprepared to do her job at that point after going through only seven weeks of training. Auditors said Smith failed to catch the data entry error in Reyes' sentencing records.

Reyes did not go free after all

Reyes was not set free but handed over to US Immigration, Custom, and Enforcement Officers (ICE) officers, who issued a detainer in his name. Reyes was an illegal immigrant from Mexico.

The LMDC audit also noted Reyes' claims that prison officials kept him incarcerated over his approved release date so they could hand him over to ICE officials.

The Reyes case is not the only one. Two former inmates filed lawsuits against LMDC alleging that they and probably hundreds of others were unlawfully being held by corrections officials, most likely due to the computer glitch and abuse.

LMDC bosses have appeared in front of Louisville city officials to explain the plethora of issues affecting the local jail system, including the problem of tardy inmate releases.

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