HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Getting into the Madison County jail is simple.
Getting out these last two weeks, not so much.
Monday, co-owner of Betta Bonds Angelo Contino said delays to bond out his clients are mounting.
He said bonding out Amanda Minchew took more than two days, when a traditionally it takes no more than four hours.
“I’m still mind boggled on what it is, where the confusion came in," he said.
Law enforcement arrested Minchew on Feb. 18 for intent to distribute illegal drugs.
He said one of his employees began paperwork to get her released at roughly 9 a.m. on Feb. 19, but the jail wouldn’t let Minchew fill out her section of the paperwork.
Minchew said the jail was not communicating with her and dragged out her confinement unnecessarily.
“They said I went to court one day when I didn’t,” she said.
"Not be able to call your family when you need to or want to, it's hard."
After waiting two days, Contino said made a call to jail leadership and Minchew was subsequently allowed to complete her bond paperwork.
Madison County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Brent Patterson did not respond to a request for comment.
County Chairman Dale Strong made comments to WAFF 48′s Chris Joseph on Feb. 18 that suggest the issue could be connected to ransomware, software that holds a system hostage until someone pays up.
- Joseph: Chairman, I’m obligated to ask. Ransomware. What’s the deal?
- Strong: No comment.
- Joseph: No comment?
- Strong: If you think about it, you’re a smart guy.
- Joseph: Yeah
- Strong: What happens if we go get a bunch of s*** in the media right now. They up how much we pay. I represent the taxpayers of this county. I’m always helpful to whoever I can help. You’re a smart guy.
- Joseph: Right
- Strong: What do you think happens if we get on every other TV station....(inaudible)
- Joseph: I don’t know, I mean if you’re negotiating millions of dollars, that could be...
- Strong: Where'd you get that?
- Joseph: Millions?
- Strong: You’re the one that just said that. I said where’d you get that at?
- Joseph: We heard it through the grapevine from multiple people now.
- Strong: Okay (greets guest)
- Strong: Like I say, it’s one of these things, when you think about it, I have to represent this county. I thought if anybody you could understand that. The last thing I would want to do is go do something that could cost us another 25 cents more.
- Joseph: Right...
- Strong: We have a very limited budget as it is.
- Joseph: Understood, understood. But you are negotiating with them right now right?
- Strong: I’m not negotiating with nobody.
- Joseph: Ok, understood.
On Feb. 19, Strong and Sheriff Kevin Turner both walked away from an opportunity to elaborate on what that means, or say the situation will be resolved.
No solution is leaving inmates behind bars, when they should be going home.
“Maybe have like some answers, you know? Just other than the system is down. That’s just the only thing they have to say. It doesn’t make any sense. What did they do before the system?” Minchew said.
Contino said the delays are hurting his bottom line. He said the delays cost his business time it could be using to help more customers.
He said the sheriff’s office could help the situation by posting more regular roster updates.
The sheriff’s office said on Feb. 13 it would be posting a 24-hour intake everyday before 10 a.m. At the time of this publication, the department has not posted a 24-hour intake form before 10 a.m. or posted an update since Feb. 19..
It posted its first update on Feb. 14, at 1:22 p.m.
On Feb. 15, it posted an update at 5:44 p.m.
On Feb. 18, it posted a 72-hour intake form at 9:46 a.m.
On Feb. 19, it posted an intake form at 2:51 p.m..