Muskogee lawyer Jim R. McClure believes the Neighbors Building Neighborhoods' Amnesty Day program is good for both law enforcement and those with warrants.
"We save the police time from chasing people down, and we save those people some anguish from constantly looking over their shoulder," McClure said. "We want to help people get on the right track again."
The program offers those with city or Muskogee County failure-to-pay and failure-to-appear warrants a chance to get back on a payment plan or get a new court date, rather than being arrested.
Proceedings will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 26, and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 27, at the Muskogee Civic Center. Participants should bring photo identification, according to a release from NBN.
City Attorney Roy Tucker and Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge will be on hand for case-by-case discussions of a person's options going forward, McClure said.
This marks the third Amnesty Day held by NBN, McClure said. Last October, 314 people took advantage of the program.
"We had a very poor turnout the first time, because we didn't get the word out," McClure said. "The second time, we advertised it over social media, in particular on Facebook. When someone would put a comment saying, oh, this is a trick, this is just so police can arrest you easier, we were quick to say, no, that's not going to happen."
The idea is, instead, to provide a safe way of getting certainty back. Participating in the Amnesty Day program can benefit a person's pocket as much as their calm, McClure said.
"If a new payment plan is reached and then followed, then the cost of the warrant is removed from what they have to pay," McClure said. "There's a peace of mind and financial advantage in taking care of that warrant through this program."
After what McClure called a successful last outing last year, NBN wants the event to grow.
"We're expecting at least the same number of people this time. Hopefully, it'll be more," McClure said.