Attorney-General Elise Archer was unaware an inmate had been incorrectly released from Risdon Prison until The Examiner made inquiries on Thursday.
Josh Brown, 31, was released early because of an administration error.
The Rocherlea man had spent nearly two weeks settling into life outside of prison when he found out he might need to go back to Risdon.
Brown was serving a four-month sentence for a number of driving and drug offences, but an outstanding charge was dealt with while he was in jail and an extra 28 days were added to his term.
He was due to be released on December 3, but he was let out of jail on November 5 without serving the extra 28 days.
When prison guards told Brown he was being released, he said he did not question them because that’s not how prison works.
The police have been to Brown’s mum’s house since his release, but he was not home when they came knocking.
The thought of not being at home to celebrate Christmas with his girlfriend and her three children was distressing for him.
The early release has left Brown in a state of limbo, with plans to move into a house with his partner put on hold until he knows where he legally stands.
“After a week and a half I pretty much had to stop looking until I’ve worked it all out,” he said.
“We don’t want to just get a house and then lose it because there isn’t enough income.”
Brown has contacted his lawyer to seek advice about his rights.
A government spokesman said the state government was recently made aware of the incorrect release.
“The department is taking the necessary steps to return the individual to custody,” the spokesman said.
“The department will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the error and take any necessary steps to ensure it isn’t repeated.”
This is not the first time an inmate has been incorrectly released, with six prisoners accidentally released early from Risdon over a two-year period from 2014.
A report by KPMG was commissioned by then-Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin in response to the series of blunders.
Just days after the announcement was made to review procedures the sixth inmate was let out of jail early.
The report was released in early 2017 and recommended the Justice Department streamline court processes and implement a single registry for all courts.
Matthew Groom, who was the acting Attorney-General when the report was released, said “priority action” would be taken to “revise” remand in custody procedures, seeking to encourage the sharing of information between the Magistrates Court, the Supreme Court, Tasmania Prison Service and Tasmania Police.
The government spokesman said excluding the release of Brown, there were no other incorrect releases since the KPMG audit in 2016.