LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Mike Beebe gave a vote of confidence to state Prison Director Ray Hobbs on Wednesday, a day after the state Board of Correction decided to suspend Hobbs for two weeks without pay for not informing the panel sooner of a glitch that caused 13 inmates to be paroled too soon.

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Mike Beebe gave a vote of confidence to state Prison Director Ray Hobbs on Wednesday, a day after the state Board of Correction decided to suspend Hobbs for two weeks without pay for not informing the panel sooner of a glitch that caused 13 inmates to be paroled too soon.

Beebe said he also supported the board’s action in the wake of a computer problem that caused 1,123 inmates to be credited with too much “good time” off their sentences for good behavior.

The governor said the episode had not caused him to lose confidence in the prison director.

“You know, everybody makes mistakes. I don’t think there’ll be another instance where he fails to inform that board in a very timely manner of anything he thinks (is wrong), or at least the chairman,” Beebe said.

“I think the Board of Corrections is sending a message that there are certain things that they want to make sure they are more abreast of in a more timely fashion, and I think they measured their response accordingly,” the governor said. “I can understand why he’d try to see a problem and fix it before anybody finds out about it, but you’ve got to keep your board informed, and I think that’s what their message is.”

Of the 13 inmates that actually left prison, one is back behind bars because of a parole violation and 11 others were released just days before their actual parole dates, so close that department officials have decided to allow them to remain free, prison spokeswoman Dina Tyler said.

One remains on parole in another state. Because he has three weeks remaining before he is officially parole eligible, “We’re very likely going to get him,” Tyler said.

Hobbs said Wednesday he accepted the two-week suspension and vowed there would be better communication within his department.

“I told a group of the department’s top management … that the buck stops with me, and I meant it,” Hobbs said. “I understand the board’s action, and I respect it.”

The suspension is to take effect Jan. 2. When Hobbs returns to work, he will be on probation for six months and his employment status will be reviewed monthly, the board decided in a unanimous vote Tuesday.

“There most certainly was a lack of communication in this situation, and as director, I am ultimately responsible,” Hobbs said Wednesday. “We will all learn from this and we will move forward as an agency.”

Tyler said the computer problem was discovered on Sept. 28 and that 1,123 inmates were incorrectly credited with “good time.” She said about 100 were actually in the process of being paroled when the problem was found.

“We got lucky that we found it when we did before a lot more were affected and went home,” she said.

Tyler said the computer problem occurred when programmers were changing the computer program to conform with the state prison overhaul law, Act 570 of 2011.

Part of the new law changed who is eligible to earn “good time” and another part expanded the number of programs offered in prison that fall into the “good time” category.

When the new law began being factored into the program, prison officials discovered that the parole dates for some inmates were changing and that did not match other records, Tyler said.

“They started to notice that it’s not adding up and that the good time being given is wrong,” she said, adding that prison officials quickly worked to fix the problem and that is where the break down in communication occurred.

“Understand that when this happened that everybody was in a panic, first to stop it, to find out what it was and stop it, and then to find out how many people might have been affected,” she said.

A number of inmates and their family members became upset when told that the parole dates had changed and word began to spread, Tyler said, adding that management became aware of the problem in mid-November but Hobbs was out of town for a week.

On Nov. 21 Benny Magness, chairman of the state Board of Corrections, called Hobbs to say he had received a number of phone calls and wanted to know why the board had not been made aware of the problem.

“Mr. Hobbs said, ‘I don’t have any idea what you are talking about,’” Tyler said.

Magness said Wednesday that the decision to suspend Hobbs was a “personnel matter” and referred to a statement he made during Tuesday’s board meeting.

According to a partial transcript of the meeting, Magness said the board was concerned about the amount of time it took for the information to be released to the board by Hobbs and his management staff.

“The board will do its duty and responsibility and every agency needs to take this seriously and everyone understand, that if a board member … wants or needs information, they will get it,” Magness said at Tuesday’s meeting.

“Having to get information like we did today is not the best way to do it,” he said. “Let this serve as notice to the agencies that we will take this kind of action in the future if needed.”