"Warrant Clear Up" Week in Phoenix Nets at Least 1,500 Misdemeanor Scofflaws; Hunt for Holdouts Begins

warrant clear up logo.JPG
Logo for the city of Phoenix's New Opportunity Warrant Clear Up Program.

The city of Phoenix convinced at least 1,500 misdemeanor scofflaws to come in to court this week and take care of their old warrants.

Sergeant Tommy Thompson says the number is conservative and that he'll get an exact count on Monday from city court.

The police, court, public defender's office and city prosecutor teamed up for the New Opportunity Warrant Clear Up Program, which ran all this week. As we reported last Thursday, Thompson stressed that although officials weren't offering amnesty, they were willing to work with people on fine-payment plans and other issues.

Police planned to begin a crackdown on Friday afternoon for the holdouts. As of last week, an estimated 110,000 people had misdemeanor warrants out for their arrest in Phoenix.

One side effect of the program and crackdown is that it'll beef up the city's sagging treasury.



A similar program in Houston brought in $2 million.

But Houston's program, which ran for twice as long, appears to have been six times as effective. The surrender portion of the Houston program netted 24,000 people out of about 300,000, or about 8 percent. (Another 12,000 were nabbed in that city's ensuing crackdown.)

Phoenix's program encouraged just 1.36 percent of the total number of scofflaws to come to court.

But if Phoenix manages to coax an average of $55 out of each scofflaw, as Houston did, that's $82,500 the city wouldn't have otherwise had this week.

With the city is paying about 10 percent of its employees more than $88,000 a year, every little bit count.



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8 comments
PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

If Phoenix wants to make money why don't they start by raising property taxes? Income taxes? all kinds of taxes, but the ones on food, or sales.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Why are they wasting time on misdemeanor warrant when there are 30k outstanding felony warrants out there, most of which stem from ppd cases?

Such a double standard....

Smurfyfamily
Smurfyfamily

If they changed the mandantory sentencing laws for non-violent crimes they could put millions in the state treasury and use the money for constructive uses and not breed more criminals.

alehound
alehound

property taxes? f uuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Nurse Rached
Nurse Rached

Because they are the city courts and police. The city courts only handle misdemeanor cases. Felony cases are exclusively tried by superior court. The court wanted to clear some backlog and make some money.

Known Derelict
Known Derelict

 There is more money to be made on many many misdemeanors fines than felony's. most felons end up in prison and just end up doing time, most misdemeanor types pay fines and get probation or less..

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

yes property taxes they are uber low in Arizona.

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