Freed too early, he’s back behind bars despite getting a job
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A man released early from prison under a criminal justice reform law in Louisiana is back in prison — despite staying out of trouble and securing a job — because his release date was calculated incorrectly by state corrections officials.
Nickolos Marchiafava was returned to custody on Monday.
“We don’t have any choice. Under the law he’s supposed to be incarcerated,” Natalie LaBorde, deputy assistant secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, told The Advocate .
Marchiafava was one of more than 4,000 nonviolent inmates freed under laws passed last summer. After his Dec. 6 release he lived in a shelter for the homeless, got a job at a bakery and, eventually, an apartment.
Gerri Garon, the district administrator for the Baton Rouge office of probation and parole, said Marchiafava was taken to the West Baton Rouge Parish jail Monday, and will then be transferred to work release. She said she hopes he can continue in his job with Gambino’s Bakery through the program.
“It’s devastating. It’s destroying everything you worked for,” Marchiafava said Saturday. “It wasn’t for doing the wrong thing.”
Officials attempted to pick him up at his apartment Friday, but he was out trying to secure food stamps. Officials then called his stepmom, asking her to make sure Marchiafava turned himself in on Monday morning to probation and parole, which he did.
LaBorde said the error in his release-date calculation happened because two 2005 convictions were entered as concurrent sentences, but they should have been treated as consecutive.
“It’s not his fault, it’s our fault,” said Corrections secretary Jimmy LeBlanc. “This is unfortunate.”
Marchiafava was convicted of unauthorized use of a movable and felony theft in 2005. After serving time for those charges, he was released on parole in 2012, but he was picked back up by authorities and convicted of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in 2015. He was sentenced to three years.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com