Judges, prosecutors, and police across Texas got a shock just after Thanksgiving, when their mailboxes filled with notices that tens of thousands of convicts were coming up for parole. There were 29,000 letters statewide, a torrent when normally just a few thousand are mailed each week. Said Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley, “I thought they were doing a flood of releases,” reports the Austin American-Statesman.
Red-faced corrections officials explained that the problem was casued by a lack of envelopes. “This is beyond ridiculous. It never should have happened,” said state parole director Bryan Collier, whose employees were responsible for the goof. “Someone should have been screaming that they needed envelopes,” Collier said. “They didn’t.” The office in which the glitch occurred is the same one that was criticized this year for not properly processing parole-attorney fee affidavits, after the disclosure of problems by the American-Statesman.