For the second time in a month, an inmate has been mistakenly released from the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility.

The Nova Scotia Department of Justice said 40-year-old Robert Eisnor is serving an intermittent sentence which requires that he remain behind bars at the Burnside jail for two days each week.

Eisnor reports to the jail Saturdays at 8 p.m. and is released Mondays at 6 p.m.

However, justice officials said Eisnor was released 12 hours early, at 6 a.m. Monday.

“It appears that a staff member misread the time of release and released the person in error,” said Bill Smith, executive director of Correctional Services.

“To put some of this in context, there were 44 intermittent sentences this past weekend. Those people would arrive at, some on Friday, some on Saturday, some are released on Sunday, some are released on Monday, some are released in the morning, some are released in the evening, so it can be a cumbersome process to manage.”

He said the missing inmate didn’t pose a threat to the public, but police were searching for him Monday morning. 

Eisnor approached officers at Pizza Corner in Halifax at 10 a.m. and told them who he was. He was then returned to custody at the facility.

"It is unclear if he knew we were looking for him but he knew that there was activity around his residence so he approached police officers which was done without incident," said Halifax Regional Police Const. Pierre Bourdages.

Eisnor is serving the intermittent sentence for breach of recognizance for failing to attend court. His sentence began Nov. 17 and ends Dec. 29.

He was initially charged with break and enter, possession of stolen property and trafficking of stolen goods.

The incident comes just a month after another inmate was mistakenly released from the same jail.

Eliahs Knudsen Kent, 22, was wrongfully released from the facility while being held on remand and awaiting trial.

Police were notified and a search was launched for the inmate. They warned the public not to approach him, saying he was dangerous and had a history of violence.

Kent spent more than 24 hours on the lam and was arrested after a short pursuit in Spryfield the following afternoon.

Investigators determined another inmate who was due to be released from prison on Nov. 7 allowed Kent to pose as him, enabling Kent to leave the facility.

An internal investigation found that staff did not follow the policies and procedures in place and justice officials said they would be disciplined.

Smith said he was at the facility last week for an inspection and insisted the errors that led to Kent’s release are not being repeated, saying Eisnor’s release was different.

“Last time…there was a mistake that the person didn’t verify the offender, the photograph of the offender on the information system. That’s not the case in this instance,” said Smith.

“I think that human errors happen and in this case it was obviously an error in the release of this person.”

Since December 2007, six people have been released from the facility by mistake. In all cases, the inmates were returned, though some of them turned themselves in.

Officials blamed a number of factors for the inadvertent releases, including clerical errors and paperwork mix-ups.

Smith said Monday’s incident is being reviewed internally and it is too early to say whether staff will be disciplined.

“Where we have humans, human errors will occur…Can I say human error will ever happen again? No,” he said.

“Any error of release is a concern for us so we have to make sure that whatever happened in this case, once we know exactly what happened…if there was something done that was inappropriate or wrong, we fix it.”