Arkansas county offering people with misdemeanor warrants a deal

ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, Ark. - - The St. Francis County Sheriff's Department is trying to clear a backlog of misdemeanor warrants by offering offenders a sweet deal.

The department has more than 5,000 outstanding misdemeanor warrants, and most of them are for failure to appear in court.

The related offenses are usually traffic tickets or minor drug crimes.

"If we were out trying to actively serve these warrants all the time that's all we would be doing, Captain Eddie Adamson says.

That's why the sheriff is offering offenders that aforementioned deal: contact the sheriff's department and get a court date instead of being hunted down and making things worse.

Once in court, a judge decides any kind of punishment and while jail time is possible for some of these offenses, most of these them just end in fines.

One woman we talked with says it's a good deal.

"That's giving them the opportunity to solve the problem without them getting hindered by police for a traffic ticket," she says.

The program started Monday, days after the department's warrant list went back on its' website. It had been off for weeks while software in the jail was upgraded. The down time allowed deputies to catch up and make the list current.

The program ends at the end of the month.