Prisoner released two years early: audit

A Queensland Auditor-General report has found 91 prisoners were released before serving their sentences.
A Queensland Auditor-General report has found 91 prisoners were released before serving their sentences.

A PRISONER was released from a Queensland jail two and a half years early, an audit has found.

The Queensland Auditor-General report found 91 prisoners were released before serving their sentences and 238 people were unlawfully detained between 2004-05 and 2015-16, an audit report into sentencing has found.

The Queensland Auditor-General's report found one prisoner was released in error 963 days early - about two and a half years. On average prisoners discharged early were released 51 days before they should have been.

Errors also had one person jailed in error for 313 days. The report found people unlawfully detailed in error were jailed on average for 15 days.

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said the government would re-establish the Lawful Detention Expert Reference Group to reduce errors and ensure better communication between justice agencies.

"As Minister, I consider any error to be unacceptable and I will be speaking with the QCS Commissioner about reducing this number even further,” he said.

Acting auditor-general Anthony Close said the error rate had risen from 0.66 errors for every 1000 prisoners managed in 2005-06 to 1.63 errors for every 1000 prisoner managed in 2015-16.

"The entities may have made other undetected errors, as some errors only come to their attention after prisoners released in error commit other offences,” the report said.

The report's recommendations include improving information sharing between criminal justice entities and increasing prisons appearing in court using video links to reduce the potential for error in their transport.

Mr Ryan said the error rate should be zero.

"Although the review found the error rate reported was less than one per cent, the Palaszczuk government requires zero errors in the management of prison sentences,” he said.


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