People with minor violations could get a fresh start while also easing the backlog in the court system through a new Warrant Removal Program.
Rock Island County State’s Attorney Dora Villarreal said the new program will start on May 6 at 8 a.m.
“Our goal is to make sure that some of these cases that don’t involve victims that are non-violent people do get this opportunity to have a fresh start to get their case is resolved,” said Villarreal. “There’s going to be at least one court room available with one prosecutor, one judge and a clerk that’s going to help with the administrative work.”
“And if there is somebody who had a defense attorney they can either bring their defense attorney or we will also have the public defenders office available that whole day.”
This program will help people who have ordinance violations, traffic tickets, and Class B and C misdemeanors.
“This doesn’t clean their record. It just allows us to and like them to have that warrant taken away so they would not have to actually be arrested or turn themselves into the jail. They can just come to court and they can get a new court date and get a new payment plan, and they don’t have to be worried that they have an outstanding warrant,” said Villarreal.
“Now we’re gonna try it out for one day and see how it works. And then our goal is to at least do this program for three months.”
Rock Island County Court is working with Project Now and Prairie State Legal Services to spread the word about the new program.