Bexar County’s new computer system blamed for delays in jail booking, releases

SAN ANTONIO – After nearly a week in the Bexar County jail, Maurice Valdez says freedom doesn’t exactly taste sweet to him.

He believes the six days he served were about five days too long.

“I should’ve been out already,” Valdez said emphatically.

Valdez and others say even after posting bond for relatively minor offenses, they were left to languish in jail for days on end.

“I paid my bond the same day, (June) third, and I’m just now getting out,” said Brynda Walker, who was arrested for the unauthorized use of a vehicle.

In many cases, a charge like that would result in a defendant being released within about eight to 12 hours of posting bond.

Instead, Walker said she unnecessarily spent more than 40 hours under lock and key.

“With this new system, that’s all they keep blaming it on, the new system,” Walker said.

The “new system,” according to county officials, is a computer program called Odyssey.

All of Bexar County recently switched over to the new software in an attempt to upgrade the system that had been in place for more than 50 years.

By many people’s accounts, though, the change has been anything but easy.

Valdez said his six days in jail, related to a charge of resisting arrest, cost him money and time with his children.

“I have my own business,” Valdez said. “I lost the contracts that I had.”

Another woman, who wanted to conceal her identity, spoke of being lost herself. She said family members trying to pay her bond were not able to find her.

“(Jail staff) said they didn’t know if I was here until the system was up, that they would find out,” she said.

According to the sheriff’s office, the computer change is responsible for the recent delays in booking and releasing inmates.

In an email, a spokeswoman said jail staff has had to resort to using paper, rather than technology, to get the job done.

KSAT 12 News also spoke off-camera to employees and owners of several local bail bond companies, who all shared stories of troubles with the new system.

Some reported being unable to find their clients in the county’s online records. Others mentioned posting bonds on behalf of clients, only to see them continue to spend days in jail.

In response to a request by KSAT 12 News for an interview with county commissioners about the apparent problems, Monica Ramos, a spokeswoman for Bexar County, sent a lengthy statement:

“Bexar County is aware of some issues website users may be experiencing online since the transition to a new Enterprise County Integrated Justice System (eCIJS), on Monday, June 3, 2024. The eCIJS integrates many areas of the County into one platform. Impacted offices and departments include County Clerk’s Office, District Clerk’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, Pre-Trial Services, Public Defender’s Office, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office among others.

As information migrates from the old system, there may be gaps in records returned as searches are conducted. Searches may not contain all the information in the records as eCIJS is continually updating with backlogged data.

Until all information is entered, portals and reporting activity from the system may not be comprehensive.

Bookings and releases are being performed by BCSO, as appropriate and in accordance with their processes and procedures.

Over 120 BCIT and Tyler Technologies staff are monitoring issues and troubleshooting information transfers. Bexar County is working closely with all involved parties to make this implementation and transition as smooth as possible for everyone. If a specific situation is brought to our attention, we will look into it to determine the cause.

For the latest updates on Criminal Justice System migration and impact to users, please visit www.bexar.org Please be sure to update your bookmarks and browsers.”

KSAT 12 News also sent an email to Tyler Technologies, the company behind the Odyssey computer system.

So far, there has been no response.

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