Hamilton County has ended its alternative bond program, County Mayor Claude Ramsey said.
He said the program had not met expectations of helping to cut expenses at the jail.
Some judges had declined to use the program, which used a staff to select certain prisoners for release under special supervision.
The program had been one of the recommendations of a justice system study for Hamilton County.
Mr. Ramsey told the County Commission, "We have tried. It has not succeeded at the rate we thought it would."
He said the program was being phased out and only two staff members were left. He said they might be placed elsewhere in county government.
County Commission Chairman Larry Henry noted that General Sessions Court Judges Bob Moon and David Bales had not used the program.
Judges Moon and Bales on Thursday stated that the program "failed primarily due to the irresponsible recidivist defendants who were placed in the program."
Judge Moon said, “The program would have undoubtedly failed notwithstanding the fact Judge Bales and I did not choose to release criminal defendants early who had been convicted.”
Judge Bales said, “A great majority of defendants who were placed in the program failed drug screens, committed other crimes after release or failed to appear in court. Since the defendants who were placed in the program were released on an own recognizance bond, when they failed to appear in court, there was no bondsman to apprehend them and bring them to court.”
Judge Moon said, “I do not concern myself much with the issue of jail overcrowding. That is a legislative issue and is an issue judges are not supposed to take into account in sentencing.”