City of Jackson kicks off Amnesty Days - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

City of Jackson kicks off Amnesty Days

By Monica Hernandez - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Lines formed and cash was dished out, as people with outstanding traffic tickets and misdemeanor warrants paid up inside Jackson police headquarters.

People like Clara Davis are taking advantage of Amnesty Days, a two-day period when the city of Jackson waives all late fees for overdue fines.

"My ticket was like $200 and I only had to pay like $180, so that was a big help," said Davis.

City officials say there are over $17 million dollars worth of outstanding traffic tickets in Jackson. And with a city-wide budget crunch, authorities are hoping to collect some of that money, while giving citizens a chance to clear their record without late fees.

"Pay these tickets without having to have a fine, have everything taken off, you know, two days to do it. It's better than going to jail," said Elizabeth Russell, who paid an outstanding traffic ticket.

And for the first time in a long time, there's room in the county jail for offenders who don't pay up.

"Now that they know we have that space, I think it would encourage them to take care of business, get off to a fresh start," said Jackson Police Chief Tyrone Lewis.

Even in a tough economy, organizers said they're expecting a big turnout. Over 120 peple showed up in the first hour.

"There is a method to the madness. I think you can see a lot of excitement. A lot of people have gathered," said Gail Wright Lowery, deputy director of administration for the city of Jackson municipal court.

The last amnesty day was back in 2006. We're told about 2,000 people showed up, paying nearly $300,000 in fines.

Amnesty days run June 18 and 19th between 9 am and 8 pm. Don't forget to bring your social security card, a photo I.D., and, if possible, a copy of the ticket.

For more information, call court services at (601) 960-1948.

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