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County to hold first warrant resolution day for those with active warrants

Posted: 6:04 PM, Jun 07, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-08 18:50:09Z
If you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest , this weekend is your chance to take care of it.
 
The Pima County Justice Court estimates that 20,000 people have active warrants in the county, some even date back more than 20 years. And most of them are for not showing up in court. So the courts will open on Saturday to allow people to make appointments or walk-in and resolve outstanding warrants. 
 
"This is an experiment for us opening the courthouse on a Saturday," said Court Administrator Douglas Kooi. "We want to meet people where they live, we want to open it on a Saturday so people don't miss school, so people don't have to take time off of work. Come in, lets just get these things resolved."
 
Tucson City Court has held warrant days in the past, overturning hundreds of warrants each time. This is the first time that all surrounding courts are included. That includes Tucson City Court, as well as Sahuarita Municipal Court, Oro Valley Magistrate Court, Marana Municipal Court and South Tucson City Court. 
 
"These warrants can lead to people having their drivers licenses suspended but more seriously people can also be arrested on some of these warrants," said Kooi.
 
But he says people shouldn't fear arrest during the county's warrant day on Saturday. That's because it's part of a larger effort to reduce the jail population.
 
According to the county, 80 percent of people at the jail are waiting for trial. And of that group, the largest number of inmates are there because they didn't show up for court often on misdemeanor charges.
 
Warrant day is one of several strategies to keep non-violent, misdemeanor offenders out of jail, saving taxpayers hundreds of dollars on each inmate. 
 
"It's important that if we can resolve these matters, we can eliminate the risk of people being arrested and going to jail and at the same time reducing the population of the jail," said Kooi. "So it's a win-win for everyone."
 
Warrant day is a result of the county receiving a $1.5 million grant through the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's "Safety and Justice Challenge." The goal of the challenge is to reduce the jail population and also reduce the racial and ethnic disproportionality seen in jails. 
 
To find out if you have an active warrant, search for case information here. 
 
The Warrant Resolution Court will take place Saturday, June 11. Open cases in Tucson and South Tucson court will be resolved at 103 E. Alameda from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
 
For all other cases, including Pima County, Sahuarita, Oro Valley and Marana, go to 240 N. Stone Ave. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
 
You can get more information by calling 520-724-3171.