System change causes delays in Shelby County jails, courts

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. --  Shelby County is undergoing major changes when it comes to the court systems.

Administrators have been installing the new technology all week, but WREG learned that's caused some serious problems for some people.

"They couldn't give me any information," said Carmesha Jackson. "The probably ten times that I called, I couldn't even get an answer."

Jackson said she has two friends who were arrested this week, with each one coming across problems at the jails.

"They were an hour late processing him out and actually couldn't find him; they were walking around looking for him and couldn't find him, so that was a big shocker," she said of one friend.

But it's not too surprising as the courts are switching to a new system.

The $9.7 million project aims to bring the latest technology to our jail and court systems. It'll reformat cases going all the way back to the '80s.

Courtrooms are having to do everything by hand in the meantime and information's not as easily accessible.

"I was in the jail yesterday and in intake, it's taking sometimes 12 hours to get them processed through the intake process," said Earle Farrell with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

That's about ten extra hours than usual, and getting out can take longer too.

"I guess my advice to anybody out there having a delay getting out of jail, don't be arrested," said Farrell. "There's an idea for you."

The new system's supposed to be in place by five Monday night.

Authorities say this hasn't caused any overcrowding in the jails and that people will still be able to be released over the weekend.