Community leaders weigh in on problems with Shelby County’s new jail/court system

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. -- WREG's heard a range of problems pop up as the Shelby County courts and jails switch to a new system. Sometimes it means people staying behind bars for far too long.

We've heard the worst of this is over, but on Tuesday, dozens of people gathered to go over complaints with the changes. Commissioners, judges and attorneys voiced their concerns at the iCJIS Executive Committee meeting.

The new system went live last Monday, but a lot of information still has to be entered into it. That means people aren't getting out of jail when they should and paperwork isn't available to attorneys and families.

Administrators assured everyone they're working around the clock to fix the problems.

"I've used the analogy: it's very much like working on a new house," said Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell. "You buy a new house and you start recognizing some of the shortcomings and things that need to be corrected and that's what we're going through now with this system."

A judge said that some people whose cases have been dismissed days ago are still sitting in jail right now. It’s something they worry is unconstitutional.

"Do you not understand how the law works?" asked Judge Bill Anderson, Jr. "Do you not understand what requirements we as judges and prosecutors and defense lawyers have to the people who are arrested in Shelby County? I can't operate with computer systems that don't work. I'm sorry."

Many people who attended the committee meeting were hopeful their voices were heard Tuesday.