From the “you can’t make this stuff up file” comes this news story from the Australian Associated Press:
The 48-year old man, Randolph Harrison Convery, was “was released five months earlier than he should have been due to a paperwork mistake.”
That clearly sounds like a mistake made by the justice system. What prisoner wouldn’t happily accept an early release?
But how unjust is it then to blame the prisoner? He was supposed to serve a 12-month minimum sentence. Is it the prisoner’s job to say, “No, I’m supposed to stay here longer?”
“Convery enjoyed eight days of freedom before he was located and charged.”
I could understand rounding him up to correct the mistaken release. But charging Convery with one count of attempting to escape from lawful custody seems really unfair.
The mistake was described as “administrative error” and “human error.”
I’m not sure their countermeasure will effectively prevent future mistakes of this type:
“Information will be reissued to all staff regarding existing processes, checks and balances.”
Don’t fall into the trap of reacting to a mistake by sending a memo or promising to retrain everybody. Improvement requires a deeper analysis of why the human error was possible. Do procedures need to change instead of just reminding people to follow them?