Dallas County Holds "Day of Pardon" for Misdemeanor Warrants

Posted March 14, 2012
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Dozens of juve­niles attend­ed the sec­ond Dal­las Coun­ty, Texas Day of Par­don” on Jan­u­ary 28 and some of those youth had mis­de­meanor war­rants cleared, thus avoid­ing unnec­es­sary incarceration.

Dal­las County’s Juve­nile Pro­ba­tion Depart­ment and Dis­trict Attorney’s Office allowed youth aged 10 to 17 to have mis­de­meanor war­rants for tech­ni­cal vio­la­tions recalled. Youths hav­ing war­rants recalled promised to appear in court with­in three busi­ness days.

This is a way for us to say, We know you’re out there, and we want to help you,’” Ter­ry Smith, direc­tor of the Dal­las Coun­ty Pro­ba­tion Depart­ment, told the Dal­las Morn­ing News. But you’re still not get­ting off scot-free.”

Dal­las Coun­ty held a sim­i­lar amnesty in 2008. The goal is to allow low-lev­el offend­ers a chance to resolve pro­ba­tion vio­la­tion war­rants with­out wor­ry­ing about arrest. Remov­ing the threat of arrest also allows youth to attend school, return home, and apply for work.

The event drew about 40 youth. Youth met with offi­cials with the Dal­las school district’s Stu­dent Ser­vices Depart­ment before hav­ing war­rants cleared. They also met with offi­cials from a GED pro­gram offered by Good­will Indus­tries and with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from oth­er programs.

Just because you’re tru­ant doesn’t mean you’re a thug or a gang­ster. It means there’s oth­er issues going on,” Hugo Peart, the school district’s coor­di­na­tor of juve­nile jus­tice, told the Dal­las Morn­ing News.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Mike Lind­sey.

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