Faulkner County online inmate roster still down after servers damaged in June storm

Cables are plugged into servers and computers in this Jan. 23, 2018 file photo. (AP/Michel Spingler)
Cables are plugged into servers and computers in this Jan. 23, 2018 file photo. (AP/Michel Spingler)

The Faulkner County online inmate roster remains down after a storm in June damaged the county’s servers, the sheriff’s office said. 

“Our technology systems sustained major damage during the storms, which impacted the area on June 28, 2023, causing significant damage in Faulkner County as well as power loss. The power loss caused significant damage to our servers that store all of our data,” the sheriff’s office said on Facebook just 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, “The Jail Management System and Records Management System were the only software programs unable to be restored by the backup systems in place.”

Sherry Skaggs, a spokesperson for the Faulkner County sheriff’s office, said Monday that originally the sheriff’s office was quoted a timeline of 2 to 6 weeks to recover the data after the storm.  

The damaged server is with an in-state company to recover the data, but the company needs an encryption key, the post said. 

“The Faulkner County Attorney is now involved with the legal process to obtain needed encryption keys from the original manufacturer for the repair company to retrieve the data,” the post said.

Skaggs said that the sheriff’s office did not currently have a potential timeline for when the inmate roster would be restored, as it depended on the repair company getting the encryption key from the original manufacturer. 

“Faulkner County Sheriff's Office Applications, including the Faulkner County Detention Center Inmate Roster, depend on the data bridged from our Jail Management System,” the post said, “Until this ongoing issue is resolved, [the online inmate roster] will be unavailable. While we hope to have this issue resolved soon, we have no control over the issue and look forward to our system working again as well.”

“I wholeheartedly apologize and understand that this is an inconvenience to the public,” Skaggs said, “We also drastically want the system fixed. We’ve had to temporarily change the way we do things internally due to the system being down.” 

She said that the inmate roster was just a part of the internal system that was disrupted due to the storm damage, but it is the part that the public interacts with the most and notices the absence of. 

“We have also been waiting and we understand the day-to-day impact this has on the public as well as our peers,” she said. 

Skaggs said the inmate roster has served as a “one-stop shop” for information to the community and that false rumors have been circulating about the situation. 

“I’ve heard rumors saying that we were keeping it down on purpose, calls asking if we’d paid our bills,” she said, “It is not any of those situations at all. That’s why we made the post, to update the public and let them know what was happening.” 

“We’ve not slowed down posting notices about major arrests or sex offenders,” Skaggs said. 

She said that the public can still get information about major arrests on law enforcement’s social media pages. 

“We still post about major arrests on social media, it just isn’t all in one place anymore. If people are curious about arrests in a certain area, we are still putting that information out, they just might need to look in a few places for it,” Skaggs said. 

She also said some information is available through CourtConnect or searching online. 

“I’ve heard calls where people say that they get up and check the inmate roster with their morning cup of coffee. We know that this is impacting the public, and we just want them to know it is also affecting us and we look forward to it working again,” Skaggs said. 

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