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Lubbock Defense Attorneys Say Private Data Access Just One of Many Issues With County's New Software System

Lubbock County Court System
Rob Avila
/
Texas Tech Public Media
Lubbock County Court Buildings

The Lubbock County Defense Lawyer Association (LCDLA) issued a statement last week warning of a “data breach” within the county’s new Odyssey computer software system by Tyler Technology Inc. The new software system was implemented in August as part of an agreement valued around $10 million with Tyler Technologies in 2018, to switch from the county's previous system with Ki-Corp Ltd.

LCDLA warns of issues with Lubbock county's new computer software system
Morning news spot from 09/17

The county confirmed the issue, which had made records that should have been expunged or inaccessible to the public, publicly available. They denied classifying the incident as a “data breach,” but the jail search portal has been shut down temporarily until the issue is fixed.

Lubbock defense attorney Chris Wanner said this is just one of many issues the LCDLA has seen. He says it's much harder to access case information under the new system. Records that were previously available under Ki-Corp’s system, now take much longer to access and sometimes require additional requests to Lubbock’s District Attorney’s (DA) Office to receive case information.

The LCDLA began learning of bigger problems earlier this month. They noticed over a dozen cases of individuals still being held in jail when they should have been released.

“Under the old system, if the DA elects to reject a case it would be let known to [the jail] to release them because they no longer have any charges pending,” said Wanner. “But it wasn’t happening here.”

Lubbock County Commissioners Court Judge Curtis Parrish oversaw the transition of the county’s computer software from Ki-Corp to Tyler Technology. He acknowledges there are problems, but said so far, they’ve been isolated incidents. He said he's only received about 12 reports concerning the issue of private court records publicly available, since LCDLA’s public statement.

County responds to LCDLA's statement on new software system
Morning news spot from 09/21

“Whenever you switch over to a new system there is always going to be issues,” said Parrish. “So the key becomes, how are you going to minimize those issues?”

Parrish said the new software system is state of the art, the gold standard used by courts and governments across the state. He said it could be the best system the county has ever had once it gets through these growing pains. They are working daily to find and fix issues as they come.

On the issue of individuals still in jail when meant to be released, Parrish said that’s a key concern for him.

“A liberty question is the top priority for us,” he said. “We will have these isolated incidents, and when we find them, we’ll fix them.”

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Have a news tip related to the jail, courts or any issue mentioned in this story? Email Rob Avila at rob.avila@ttu.edu.