He said the problem was first flagged three years ago, when a crime victim’s family was notified the perpetrator was about to get out — early.

“The family did its own calculation, determined that the offender was getting out earlier than the court had ordered, and contacted the department to ask why this was happening,” Brown said.

It turns out the department of correction’s software was improperly giving some inmates credit for good behavior. Even though the problem was discovered in 2012, the department repeatedly delayed fixing the software, until Gov. Jay Inslee says the problem finally came to his attention last month. He disclosed the problem to the media in a press conference shortly before Christmas.

“That this problem was allowed to continue to exist for 13 years is deeply disappointing, it is totally unacceptable, and frankly, it is maddening,” Inslee says.