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Washington Court Upholds Prison's Good Time Credit Computation

The Washington State Court of Appeals held that the Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC) correctly calculated a prisoner's time served and good time sentence reduction credit for presentence confinement.

Kail Erickson spent 98 days in jail awaiting trial and received 49 days of earned time sentence reduction credits. However, on September 20, 2004, the sentencing court gave Erickson presentence credit "for 368 days served." This was based upon an agreement between the State and Erickson "to give Erickson 'credit for time dating back to'" September 15, 2003, when he first entered custody. In calculating Erickson's release date, WDOC relied upon the jail's certification of 98 days’ time served and 49 days of earned time credits and disregarded the sentencing court's grant of 368 days.

Erickson filed a personal restraint petition, arguing that WDOC improperly refused to give effect to the sentencing court's credit of 368 days served prior to sentencing.

The Washington Court of Appeals held that although Erickson's September 2007 release mooted the case, it would reach the merits "because the proper administration of good time credits is an issue of continuing public interest."

Turning to the merits, the court found that "DOC, not the superior court, has statutory authority to grant good time credit to an offender." The court also found that the award of 98 days of time served and 49 days of good time credits was the statutory maximum Erickson could receive, and "the judgment and sentence directive that he be given credit for 368 days does not change these facts." As such, WDOC did not deprive him of credit that he was legally entitled to receive.

Finding that Erickson's constitutional claims were unsupported by sufficient argument or citation, the court elected not to reach them. See: In re PRP of Erickson, 146 Wn App 576, 191 P3d 917 (Wa CA 2008).

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Related legal case

In re PRP of Erickson