N.W.T. gov't reviewing how an inmate was 'inadvertently' released for nine months

The RCMP detachment in Yellowknife on Aug. 3, 2021. The N.W.T. government has ordered a review after an inmate was erroneously released from the Fort Smith Correctional Complex. The mistake was discovered nine months later after RCMP contacted the corrections service. (Liny Lamberink/CBC - image credit)
The RCMP detachment in Yellowknife on Aug. 3, 2021. The N.W.T. government has ordered a review after an inmate was erroneously released from the Fort Smith Correctional Complex. The mistake was discovered nine months later after RCMP contacted the corrections service. (Liny Lamberink/CBC - image credit)

An inmate was accidentally released from a Northwest Territories correctional facility and spent more than nine months out of jail when they apparently were supposed to stay behind bars.

The person is now back in custody, and the territorial government is investigating how the inadvertent release happened.

A news release from the territory Thursday said the inmate was released on Jan. 7 from the Fort Smith Correctional Complex. While they were released, the person was reporting to and had been under the supervision of a probation officer.

The mistake was caught after RCMP contacted the N.W.T. Corrections Service on Oct. 19 about the "release status" of an inmate. The news release added that, after a review, the person was brought back into custody on Oct. 20 "without incident."

The territory said its review of the mistake will aim to "document what resulted in the inadvertent release and identify any corrective actions needing to be taken by the Corrections Service moving forward."

The review is expected to be completed at the end of November.