Harris Co. commissioners unanimously approve use of visiting judges to alleviate 100K-case backlog

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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With 100,000 cases, including immoderate good beyond a twelvemonth old, inactive pending successful the Harris County transgression tribunal system, the county's commissioners each agreed that exigency assistance is needed to alleviate the excessive backlog.

On Tuesday, a unanimous commissioners tribunal approved $2.5 cardinal for 3 exigency dockets presided by 3 judges who would travel successful from extracurricular the county.

Operations for the exigency dockets commencement connected Aug. 28.

As portion of the approval, the region is besides hiring 5 further clerks to unit expanded operations astatine NRG Arena, wherever the region has relocated immoderate tribunal operations.

Additionally, the judges volition beryllium ordered to supply monthly updates connected their progress. A portal volition besides beryllium acceptable up to way each dockets, existing judges, administrative judges and the visiting judges.

While the request for further prosecutors and nationalist defenders were discussed arsenic portion of the exigency dockets, the commissioners took nary further enactment connected it.

Just earlier the vote, County Judge Lina Hidalgo called retired for the dire request to code piling lawsuit load, which appeared to beryllium caused successful portion by disasters similar Hurricane Harvey and the existent pandemic.

Some of those cases besides impact unsafe offenders, who are believed to beryllium liable for an uptick successful convulsive crimes, arsenic galore of the suspects are inactive connected the streets.

SEE RELATED STORY: 13 Investigates: Crime reported each 7 hours successful this Houston neighborhood

"Justice delayed is justness denied," Hidalgo said earlier the unanimous vote. "We request to put successful what works, not what's designed to people governmental points oregon to marque splashy headlines."

Hidalgo and Commissioner Adrian Garcia pitched to chap commissioners astir utilizing the visiting justices and unit to absorption connected the astir superior cases first.

This program would physique connected a erstwhile determination to money further instrumentality enforcement, grow assemblage operations, supply overtime to detectives and upgrade assemblage camera instrumentality to assistance grounds determination done faster.

Hidalgo said she does not judge that gathering much prisons and utilizing payer dollars to enactment the wide incarceration of nonviolent offenders is going to hole the accrued transgression successful Black and brownish communities.

Thursday connected Eyewitness News astatine 10 p.m., 13 Investigates' Ted Oberg shows you 1 jarring item successful the backlog messiness - the information immoderate judges person held zero trials since the COVID pandemic began.

WATCH: 13 Investigates: Crime spikes portion HPD unit shrinks

For updates connected this story, travel Mycah Hatfield connected Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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