HARRIS COUNTY, Texas- More than 170 inmates at the Harris county jail could soon be released because they are too poor to pay for their bonds in Harris County.

A federal judge has ordered the county to release inmates who have only been charged with a misdemeanor and are financially unable to pay their bond. They also can’t have any holds from other law enforcement agencies.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office,177 inmates meet those standards and releases will begin as soon as is practicable.

HCSO said these inmates represent about 2 percent of their jail population.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez supports the move.

“I am pleased that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Judge Rosenthal’s finding that people charged – and not yet convicted – with misdemeanor crimes should not remain in jail solely because they don’t have the money to make bond,” said Gonzalez. “All Harris County residents deserve to be treated fairly and equitably by our criminal justice system.”