Inmate Released from Prison As a Result of a Clerical Mistake

In Jacobs v. Robinson, 49 Pa. Commw. 194, 410 A.2d 959 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1980), prison authorities released an inmate from prison as a result of a clerical error. When prison authorities discovered the error, they obtained a warrant to arrest the inmate for escape. The inmate was taken into custody, and the records officer at the prison denied him credit for the time he spent at large as an escapee. On appeal, this court stated that the prisoner could not be classified as an escapee. This court then stated that the prisoner had the right to serve a sentence continuously and could not be compelled to serve a sentence in installments. Because the inmate was not an escapee, but, rather, was inadvertently released by prison authorities, this court held that the inmate was entitled to credit for the time he was in the community. Id.