Breckenridge Texan

Stephens County Inmate Jail Roster will soon be available online

Stephens County Inmate Jail Roster will soon be available online
November 01
08:10 2021

By Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

The public will soon have online access to information about inmates who are incarcerated in the Stephens County Jail. Last Monday, Stephens County Commissioners approved a contract with Net Data Corporation to set up a website that will include information such as the inmate’s name, what they are charged with, how much their bond is set at, and their photo.

According to the contract, the cost to set up the website and maintain it for the first year is $2,000 and then it will cost $1,200 each year after that to maintain.

Stephens County Sheriff Kevin Roach said he expects the jail roster to be online fairly quickly. He said the county is already using Net Data to provide software for other offices in the county and that the online jail roster is a feature they offer with the software system, but the county has never subscribed to it before.

“It makes an inmate jail roster available online, on demand,” he said. “So if prosecutors, probation officers, bond supervision officers, if they want to know who is in jail, or if one of their defendants that they are supervising is in jail, they can access that information instead of having to call the jail and get it from us. And that goes for the public and media and everyone else.”

Currently, the jail staff has to print out jail lists and fax or email those lists to several agencies. “You know, prosecutors, probation officers, bond supervisors, all those people that want to know who all was arrested the week before, my staff makes a list and sends it to them. So it’ll negate all of that,” he said. “Plus, we get lots of calls from people, especially late at night. They can’t find a brother, cousin, aunt or uncle. So they always call and ask, ‘Hey, are they in jail?’ Well now, they can just access that information online and not have to call the jail.”

Roach said the website will be similar to ones in other counties, including Young and Shackelford counties. “Most county jails offer this. Stephens County is just a little behind the times, and I’m trying to modernize our operation,” he said.

The details of exactly what information will be posted on the site and how quickly that information will be available online has not been worked out yet, Roach said. However, he said he believes the information will be posted online as soon as the person is arraigned and the information becomes public information.

The website will also have historical information on people who have already been released. “I believe that the historical data is always there,” he said. “You can see when they were booked, when they were released and how they were released.”

Roach said he expects the website to be available fairly quickly since the contract is approved and the payment is being processed. “Then they will basically configure the software, and it should launch fairly quickly,” he said. “They (Net Data) indicated it wasn’t going to take a whole lot of time because it’s something they already offer everywhere else. They just have to basically flip the switch for us and configure it the way we want it.”

Although the sheriff said hasn’t had the chance to speak to people in the community about the new site yet, he expects they will like being able to access the information.

“I don’t really know,” roach said. “I haven’t visited with the public at all. I think the public will probably like it. You know, we get lots, or I personally get lots of calls from people. You know, transparency is a big thing. They always want to know what’s going on. And it’s just a way for me to make the sheriff’s office more transparent.”

Cutline, top photo: The Stephens County Jail is located in the Stephens County Law Enforcement Center, which houses the Sheriff’s Office and the Breckenridge Police Department. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

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