Madison County jail ‘IT issues’ causing court, bond delays

Updated: Feb. 11, 2020 at 6:58 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The justice system in Madison County is slowing down, and the consequences are piling up.

For the last week, the sheriff’s office has been battling “IT issues,” which has hampered it’s internal computers, telephones and online roster.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Brent Patterson declined an interview request but released a statement on Tuesday reading:

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is currently experiencing issues with the agency’s IT network. The IT Department is working diligently to solve the issues.

This has slowed some of our processes, including the time it takes to book inmates in and out of jail; however, as of this morning, we are able to process pistol permit applications at our location on Fiber Street.

Notification will be made once the IT issues are remedied. Sheriff Kevin Turner said, “We apologize for any inconvenience this may be causing, but we are working diligently to solve these issues.”

On Tuesday, WAFF 48 News spoke to one former inmate who wished to remain anonymous. He said the jail kept him hours after he had filled out the paperwork.

“I had made bond yesterday, I’m supposed to have been out. I’m just now getting out of jail. Just now getting out,” he said.

Betta Bonds manager Angelo Contino said usually bonds usually take somewhere between 20 minutes and four hours.

He said for the last week, it’s been taking 12 to 24 hours to process the paperwork for his clients.

“They’re pulling peoples files, going through the files looking at the charges, looking at the charge amounts and everything like that,” Contino said.

He also said lack of an online jail roster has his agency giving bonds blind.

“We’re having to play a guessing game again, on whether you’re a resident or not. How much the bond amount is,” he said.

Tuesday, WAFF 48 News went to the jail entrance to ask for public records on inmates entering and exiting the jail. The receptionist said the jail is establishing a paper roster, and that the records would be available on Wednesday.

On Monday, the IT problem delayed a murder plea.

The sheriff’s office brought the wrong inmate an hour late to court. The correct inmate was brought to court more than two and a half hours past the scheduled start time.

County Chairman Dale Strong, the FBI, and District Attorney Robert Broussard all did not return a request for comment.

WAFF 48 News requested internal communications between the sheriff’s office and the IT team about the nature of the “issues."

Patterson said he forwarded the request to the county attorney.

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