Here's how it works. A person gets arrested (whether it be for a first degree felony or an outstanding traffic ticket) and then are taken to the Wise County Jail. From there, they are told the Justice of the Peace will be there tomorrow morning to set his or her bond. And they aren't getting out of the hoosegow until they post bond. The problem is that at least one of our JPs has a hard time showing up at a reasonable time. Case in point was today. Something stupid happened in Runaway Bay yesterday that caused a 17 year old to go to jail (for swearing) at around 5:00 p.m. The charge is a Class C misdemeanor of Disorderly Conduct punishable by a maximum fine of $500 (it's like a traffic ticket.) His non-Wise-County-living parents, obviously, were frantic last night about having a teenaged son arrested but were told that "the judge will be in here in the morning." This even prompted two lawyers to contact me last night to see if there was anything I could do. Nope. Nothing. So this kid gets to hang out with a bunch of meth heads last night. Does the judge show up at 8:00 a.m.? Nope. 9:00? Nope. 10:00? Nope. 11:00? Nope. 12:00? Yep. (To be fair, it was shortly before 12.) I've known a JP to show up in the afternoon to set bonds. Do you know how many people this tardiness inconveniences? You might not care about a 17 year old or anyone else arrested, but misdemeanor arrests can lead to job loses if people don't get released. There are also concerned family members who are inconveniencing jail staff members by trying to determine if a bond has been set. They are either bugging those sweet ladies in the reception area, or another receptionist is answering the phone and then transferring the call to the jail area where another gal has to answer the question of "Has a bond been set on xxxxx" for the millionth time. And when a bond is set around noon, you have the mass bond writing process and bookout procedure occurring at the same time the jail staff is trying to feed over 100 inmates. Which JPs are guilty of this? Not all. I have an idea of the worst offender(s) but don't have any personal knowledge of this. Those that are part of the process might have some insight.
at 12:25 PM