North Carolina's governor is saying that the Department of Correction wrongly gave inmates credit for good behavior and is refusing to release 20 of the state's violent offenders next week.

Gov. Beverly Perdue said in a news release that she questions whether the prisons agency had the authority to apply the credits to inmates serving life sentences.

She says until the issue is resolved, the inmates won't be released. Her news release didn't go into detail on exactly how she would keep them locked up.

The North Carolina Supreme Court last month ruled in favor of a prisoner who argued a state law from 1970s defined a life sentence as 80 years. With time taken off of the sentences for good behavior, some 20 inmates qualified for release.

The 1970s-era law was changed a few years later.