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Oh the hue and cry that has arisen because the state Department of Corrections made a mistake in its computer system that apparently credited improperly good time resulting in the early release of a few thousand inmates for an average of 55 days [“In 2012, AG’s Office said fixing early-prisoner release ‘not so urgent’,” Page One, Dec. 31].

One such inmate, Robert T. Jackson, was drunk apparently and committed vehicular homicide — without the computer mistake, he would have still been in prison. Another former inmate, David Jennings, apparently making amends for his life’s early mistakes, must now go back to finish his prison sentence because of the same DOC mistake.

Could Jackson have committed his offense or another like it three months later? Will Jennings new beginning be subverted by the depressing effect of reintroduction to the prison system?

The theories of the basis of sentencing taught in law school include: punitive (punishment for the crime), deterrence and teleological (correcting the causes of criminal behavior).

The system is not perfect and probably only an approximation of justice. I say correct the computer glitch but leave the ones outside alone.

The only permanent change is in the heart of an offender, and I doubt the DOC has that capacity or ability.

John E. Woodbery, Monroe