Donate to the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign

Progress being made with new court/jail system in Shelby County

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. --  WREG is working to get answers on when Shelby County’s new court system will be running smoothly again.

People have complained of being kept in jail too long, being falsely arrested and having to sleep on the floor.

Teasha Blevins said she worries about her young daughter being behind bars.

"She's five months pregnant," said Blevins. "She says she has nowhere to sleep, it's cold, she's been crying, they have to walk over each other; it's just a lot going on."

Her family's had trouble tracking down her court and bond information, which are problems becoming more common after the county switched its system.

"It's not a question of overcrowding," said Earle Farrell with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office. "It's a question of getting them in and getting them out."

We're told what's caused the most problems are the three days where the systems were completely offline.

Everything had to be handwritten and re-entered into the new system along with the new inmate information coming in.

Employees said they underestimated that workload and how it'd affect all the departments.

"It's not just one blanket answer for all of it," said Ed Raper, a project manager.

The new system went live last Monday and workers said the information from those three offline days has now been entered.

"There are still issues," said Raper. "There's still new features we'll be implementing over the next few weeks, but I think the worst of it is behind us."

It caused more problems than expected, but administrators told WREG it's the only way it could've worked.

Now, it's a matter of getting the over 1,000 employees up to speed. They all have different aspects of the system to learn depending on where they work.

"No matter how much training we've had, it's still all new to them," said Raper.

That's creating frustration for those outside and inside the jail, and making them all agree on one thing.

"Once they get into the system, you don't want to be there right now, I can tell you that," said Farrell.

Administrators said they'll have some more major kinks worked out by Wednesday and hope the whole system will be running smoothly again in a few weeks.