Madison County Sheriff’s Office addresses three week long IT issues at jail

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- For three weeks the Madison County Jail has been experiencing what the sheriff’s office has described as IT issues that have slowed internal processes and limited public jail information.

There's been a lot of speculation over what the source of these issues is and why it's taken so long to repair.

Chief Deputy Stacy Bates said they’ve relied on the Madison County IT Department to resolve the issues.

“We don’t have our own internal IT department," he said. "County IT handles the county as a whole.”

Some of the network shutdowns stemmed from having to diagnose the source of the problem.

“We cut our internet connection until we can fully diagnose our IT issues... see what the depth is of it," Bates said.

WHNT News 19 asked if the issues were caused by ransomware or some sort of hack.

"No, no one’s asked the sheriff’s department for any money," Bates said.

WHNT News 19 did contact the Madison County's Chief Information Security Officer, Bryon Campbell, by phone. He confirmed that the source of these issues stemmed from both hardware and software problems. The reason it’s taken so long is they had to rebuild programs from a point they weren’t expecting to.

Campbell also confirmed they have not been working with the FBI or any outside law enforcement agency regarding these issues. He said there has been absolutely zero forensic evidence that any data has been copied, stolen, or lost.

The sheriff’s office said in the midst of all of this, their priority has been to continue serving the county and keeping people safe.

“We want to emphasize that there is no process or service that we were offering a month ago that we’re not offering now," Bates said.

Campbell said the system they had to rebuild is up and running. The system is now in the process of testing and data validation.

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