Metro Corrections computer glitches keep prisoners past release - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Corrections computer glitches keep prisoners past release dates

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- It's frustrating everyone from judges behind the bench to inmates behind bars -- a new computer system at Metro Corrections is getting off to a troubled start. 

As attorney Thomas Clay said of one client, "The defendant had been ordered released on her own recognizance at six o'clock in the morning.  I didn't find out until the day we went to court that she didn't get released until six o'clock that night."

Clay is one of several Louisville lawyers saying Metro Corrections' new software system caused his client to stay locked up too long.  "I'm not sure they're breaking the law, but they're certainly not doing their job in an efficient manner."

The new Xjail System costs $1.5 million.  It's designed to give the public quick online access to an inmate's mug shot, charges, future court dates, and bond information.

But in speaking to judges, lawyers, and police, Xjail is getting fewer compliments and more complaints.  "I know the first couple nights it was a real pain," said Chief Rick Sanders of Jeffersontown Police.

Mark Bolton, Metro Corrections Director, says, "There were multiple issues with the system shutting down, so when that occurred we had to go into manual operation."

The failure created a backlog in getting prisoners booked into the jail.  Some inmates missed hearings because they were not brought over to court.  Others were held up to two days past their release date.

The errors caught the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union.  Spokeswoman Amber Duke said Wednesday, "We'll continue to monitor the issue, and if people are being held unlawfully, we'll explore and any and all legal options to have that stopped."

The concept of online jail records is nothing new.  Hardin County already uses it and so do several states.  Officials say fewer than one percent of prisoners have been delayed due to problems with the system.

XJail has not gone online for the public yet.  That's expected to happen before the end of the month.

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