Computer glitch has Dekalb byting its nails : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Computer glitch has DeKalb byting its nails By Ben Smith III, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hundreds of criminal cases involving DeKalb County jail inmates are in limbo because of a computer glitch in the new, Y2K-upgraded jail and case management systems.

The defect is not centered in the calendar change to 2000. The two systems, which were upgraded this year at a cost of more than $5 million to correct any potential Y2K problems, are not interfacing with each other.

That means court officials have been forced to file and update hundreds of inmate cases by hand, seriously slowing down a normally computer-driven process. Some officials are worried delays could result in the automatic release on bond of suspects.

"It's literally like the old days when you had stacks and stacks of paper and you're going through each one," said DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan. "Someone comes to us for a bond, and we don't even know if that person's in jail or what the charges are.

"Our biggest concern is that somebody will get out of jail that isn't supposed to," Morgan added.

Other county officials urged people to keep the proper perspective.

"It's not that when the clock strikes midnight, the jail doors swing open and everyone there has a field day," said DeKalb County Executive Assistant Russ Crider. "Any issues we have now are related to administration or operations and not to the detriment of public safety."

Crider added that the delay resulted, in large part, from obstacles faced by the Sheriff's Department in getting its new jail management system running sooner. In August, at the urging of DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey, the County Commission fired Epic Solutions Inc. of San Diego, which had been hired to make the jail's computer systems Y2K-compliant.

Dorsey has since sued the company, and the department hired Syscon Justice Systems Inc. to complete the job by Dec. 13. Repeated attempts to contact Dorsey late Wednesday for comment were unsuccessful.

Crider said it may take until mid- or late January to correct the interface problem.

Meanwhile, the district attorney's office, which depends on the jail management system for notice of arrests, is poring over a printout of hundreds of inmate names delivered late Tuesday, and giving priority to those suspected of committing more serious crimes.

If Morgan's office doesn't indict within 90 days, the inmate is automatically released on bond.

"It has the potential to be a really serious problem. We haven't had any real problems yet, but we don't know how it will work out over the next few weeks," said Carol Ellis, the district attorney's chief investigator.

-- Homer Beanfang (, December 30, 1999


To top this off, their "new" payroll system has eaten the previous pay periods deferred comp payments, failed to post any for this pay period, and has not direct-deposited a bunch of checks. There was never any explanation of the reason for totally changing the payroll software in midyear. Those who GI got it, however. And they've had nothing but headaches and problems. Scrapped planned tests, etc, and this is what they've got now. Welcome to the new year.

-- nanook911 (, December 30, 1999.

System interfaces are going to be a BIG problem...

-- Nabi (, December 30, 1999.


Soooooo glad to see your post. While going through forum withdrawel, YOU were the "poster" I missed the most. Your incredable ability to glean useful and interesting information from the googles of material on the net is a beauty to behold. Missed ya buddy!


(long time lurker, rare poster, glad to be back up and running)

-- Jenny (HomeFor@Good.Now), December 30, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ