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New Software System used by Alameda County Wrongfully Arresting Citizens

Posted by Seth Chazin | Dec 14, 2016 | 0 Comments

Alameda County has started using a new digital case management system called Odessey. The system has been extremely flawed and has resulted in over a dozen false arrest warrants for people who have already had their charges dismissed by a judge.

Although a case may have been dismissed the new computer system has not reflected this and warrants are still shown as active. In one case, a 24-year- old man from Fremont was arrested on an invalid warrant for failure to appear in court on a previously dismissed drug possession charge, which was thrown out by a judge.  

 Public defenders believe this system needs to be fixed immediately but some officials say it is too early to give up on a system that the county spent $4.5 million in public funds.

The new system has also been said to be more difficult to use and more time consuming to navigate. Unlike the old system that took one or two clicks to complete a process, the new system takes 25 clicks and has numerous drop-down menus. Since the system is so difficult to use, it has created a huge backlog, with more than 12,000 files that have not been uploaded and possibly increasing daily.

The system was intended to stream line the filing for cases transferring hard files to a searchable database.

The Alameda County Public Defender Office has filed a motion in Alameda County Superior Court demanding that they give up the new software until the problems have been fixed. The court scheduled a hearing for January 17, 2017.

The California Tyler User Group , a group that troubleshoots software, has currently found 52 issues with the new system.

For a system that Alameda County spent so much money on, there should not be so many problems that put innocent citizens at risk for arrest or injury to reputation.

About the Author

Seth Chazin

Seth P. Chazin has aggressively defended clients in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases for over 30 years. He has extensive experience representing criminal defendants in federal and state court, while handling both state and federal appeals as well.


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“The death penalty is a lie, a misguided mistake born of anger and frustration. Capital punishment has become a perverse monument to inequality, to how some lives matter and others do not. It is a violent example of how we protect and value the rich and abandon and devalue the poor. The death penalty is a grim, disturbing shadow formed by the legacy of racial apartheid and bias against the poor that condemns the disfavored among us, but corrupts us all. It’s the perverse symbol elected officials use to strengthen their ‘tough on crime’ reputations and distract us from confronting the causes of violence. It is finally the enemy of grace, redemption and all of us who recognize that each person is more than their worse act.”
- Bryan Stevenson