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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Right now, a win-win Amnesty Program is being offered by the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office.
Non-violent offenders who have a warrant out for their arrest can avoid going to jail and the program can potentially save county taxpayers $135,000.
“If you’re someone that has had some interaction with police, and a police officer told you you’re going to receive criminal charges in the mail and you didn’t receive them, I can’t stress enough for you to go to our website and click on the link for the Amnesty Program,” said Lt. Jack Kearney, who leads the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Squad.
They find criminal defendants who are avoiding the law.
“We want to use those resources for people that we need to track down, that aren’t going to take advantage of a program like this,” said Kearney.
The Amnesty Program is for non-violent defendants who may not realize they have been charged because they never received a summons. Yet, they have a warrant out for their arrest for not going to court.
“They’re mostly misdemeanor offenses for theft-related crimes, drug-related crimes, DUI, bad check,” said Kearney.
Four-hundred-fifty people could potentially have their warrant cleared, a new court date set and avoid going to jail, if arrested.
“The average jail time for one of these warrants is about four days. It costs about $75 a day to house a prisoner. So you’re talking $300 per person per warrant,” said Kearney.
That’s a potential savings of $135,000, and that’s just in housing costs.
“If a constable picks them up, it’s fees to transfer them. It’s court clerks, it’s the DA’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office. I mean, if you add all those costs together, just for these people alone, we’re probably saving the taxpayers probably a quarter of a million dollars,” said Kearney.
The program is a win-win for everybody involved, but it only lasts through Friday February 1, 2019. If you think it could apply to you, go to the Sheriff’s Office Website.
If you are on the list, the next step is to call the Sheriff’s Office at 412.350.4709. They will set up a time for you to come in if you are eligible and do not have any other active warrants.