ALAMEDA COUNTY (KRON) — A new computer program installed for the Alameda County court system to track cases is causing chaos for scores of defendants.
Since the $4.5 million software was installed this summer, a number of people have reported being arrested on warrants that should have been cleared, or they say they were kept in jail longer than they were supposed to be.
In addition, criminal misdemeanors have turned up as felonies on some people’s rap sheets.
On Tuesday, the public defender went before a judge to argue a motion asking the courts fix the problem or go back to the old system.
That same judge also heard arguments from the district attorney’s office, who in a rare instance, is siding with the public defender.
The public defender says they know of more than 50 people who have reported problems, but he fears it is a much more widespread.
“I would guess we are talking hundreds and hundreds because we only bring forth what we catch, so if their client gets held two days extra in custody and doesn’t notify anybody, that just goes away and we don’t know about it,” Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods said. “A client gets held a week longer, we might not know about it. It’s those clients who are actually smart enough to call us and say, ‘Hey, I’m being held longer than I should be,’ and we get those clients out.”
The executive officer of the court says the problem is that the old system is outdated and no longer supported.
He believes they may need a different system altogether but is not sure where they will get the money to replace it.
Tyler Technologies, the company that makes the software, says the same computer system is being used successfully in many different courts across the country.
They say they are committed to working with Alameda County to analyze the situation.
The judge who heard the public defender’s motion is expected to make a ruling on the matter next week.