The Iowa Department of Corrections will have to parole or discharge hundreds and possibly thousands of Iowa inmates early — some of them dangerous — because of a recent Supreme Court ruling, a state official confirmed Thursday night.
Fred Scaletta, a spokesman for the department, said the department is recalculating the sentences of roughly 3,200 convict whose time under corrections supervision is affected by the ruling last month.
Officials plan to inform the Board of Corrections bout the effects of the court decision at its regular meeting this morning in Ft. Dodge.
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in July that state law mandated a convicted sex offender should receive credit for time served while under home supervision, even though he violated probation while at home.
Michael Leroy Anderson, then 37, had been living at home for about a year in 2006 when a probation officer discovered he had met several times with a 16-year-old girl.
The officer, acting on a police tip, found the girl naked under his bed, the same day the officer had warned Anderson to stay away from children.
The supreme court said state law clearly states any defendant committed to the state department of corrections for supervision “who has probation revoked shall be given credit for such time served.”
Scaletta said that decision now applies to all defendants whose probation was revoked, regardless of their crime.
“We just don’t know how many there will be. We’re having to do each defendant by hand,” he said. “We’re on it. We want to get this done as quickly as we possibly can.”
The department also must notify the defendants’ victims.
Some sex offenders will have to serve special supervision sentences after their release.
Iowa is one of more than 20 states that created the sentences to track sex offenders after their release from prison using corrections officers and technology such as GPS monitors.