Early release of inmates prompts order by judges

(AP Photo/LM Otero)
(AP Photo/LM Otero)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — State district court judges in South Texas are directing sheriff’s officials to alert them before releasing inmates due to jail overcrowding.

The Nueces County Sheriff’s Office will notify the judges when releasing inmates who were assigned to their courts.

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports a 1992 court order allows county officials to release prisoners early to avoid state rules against overcrowding.

Judge Sandra Watts said she was surprised when recently asked by a state official why she authorized the release of a man jailed on a felony drug charge. Watts said she never authorized the release.

According to an agreement reached this week, if a judge objects to the release of an inmate then another can be selected for furlough.

Nueces authorities furloughed 64 inmates from mid-June to early July.

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