Changing court schedules could impact Lubbock County jail popula - FOX34 Lubbock

Changing court schedules could impact Lubbock County jail population

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

As part of Friday's county disaster declaration, the courts are changing their schedules. 

Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe has been monitoring the virus and meeting with city leaders to determine the right protocol to keep the Lubbock County Detention Center running smoothly. Now, Lubbock County courts have canceled jury trials for the next three weeks. 

"What that does to our population, which obviously it's going to trigger our population to increase, and we're going to have to address those issues as they come," Sheriff Rowe said. 

However, certain courts will continue in hopes to prevent over-population. 

"We are going to continue to have certain guilty pleas involving defendants that are in jail. And that is to keep the jail population down so it doesn't overflow," 364th District Judge William Eichman II said. 

As for keeping the virus from spreading within the jail, the Lubbock County Detention Center has an infectious disease specialist on-hand. It's also following the CDC's cleaning and sanitizing recommendations. 

Sheriff Rowe says with such a highly-populated, enclosed space it's something dealt with on a daily basis. 

"It falls under the same protocol as any other infectious disease that we deal with," he said. 

He believe there are other concerns to tackle first. 

"Those having to deal with these individuals once arrested, once charged with a crime and then getting them through that process -- or how long we may have to wait to get them through that process are the things we'll have to be working on and will be working on for the foreseeable future," Rowe said. 

With all the uncertainty, restrictions are likely to change. If you've received a jury summons you do not have to report. All jury trials scheduled through Friday, April 3, will be rescheduled. 


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