Computer glitch in Harris Co. prompting release of almost 300 defendants still not fixed

"This is not a glitch. This is an outage of major proportions that had the system completely down from Thursday evening through Sunday," said Joanne Musick, a former Harris County prosecutor, who is now a criminal defense attorney.

Eight days have passed since nearly 300 defendants were automatically released from Harris County Jail due to a computer glitch, and FOX 26 has learned the Jweb system still has parts and pieces that remain down.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Close to 300 defendants in Harris Co. Jail automatically released due to computer glitch

"It's slowing down everybody in the system," Musick said. "The DA's office relies on that data, the private bar relies on that data, the public defender relies on it, the jail relies on it."

Musick, who left the DA's office just a few weeks ago, says the most recent crash is the fourth major outage in a year and a half. Some have lasted days. Others weeks.

About a year or so ago, Universal Services, which operates Jweb, had a change in command.

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Maj. Gen. Noriega, who is now head of Universal Services, refused to go on camera with FOX 26.

"You have a lot of people now who work at Universal Services who are not familiar with this system. They're not familiar with the gravity of it and the complexity of it. So when it goes down, they don't know how to bring it back up swiftly and correctly," said Musick.

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It's not known just how many defendants have had to be let out of jail or had to stay longer than needed because of Jweb crashes.

"Somebody could have been extended for one minute, one hour, or a whole day, that's unacceptable. We don't want to keep people in jail any longer than necessary," Musick said. "On the flip side, we don't want to stop people from coming to jail when they need to be there, and we don't want them automatically released because a computer system goes down."