The Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office, along with several other justice partners, gave citizens a one-time opportunity to resolve their outstanding nonviolent misdemeanor or criminal traffic warrants on Saturday, April 30.
Operation Fresh Start collected nearly $20,000, recalled more than 380 warrants and reinstated or cleared 160 licenses. “On average, the cost of incarceration is $135 per day,” Clerk & Comptroller Sharon R. Bock said. “Not only did this partnership save taxpayer money, it allowed people to move on with their lives without the fear of arrest.”
Before the event, there were nearly 25,000 outstanding warrants in Palm Beach County. Eligible defendants were given the chance to voluntarily appear in court, avoid jail time and establish a payment plan for fines and costs. “This initiative allowed us to resolve hundreds of open warrants in Palm Beach County,” 15th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath said. “This event was such a success, we hope to replicate more initiatives like Operation Fresh Start in the future.”
“We need to continue to work together on projects like Operation Fresh Start,” Public Defender Carey Haughwout agreed.
Individuals with outstanding nonviolent misdemeanor or criminal traffic warrants, who were unable to attend, can contact Haughwout’s office at (561) 355-7500 to check the status of their case or find out if it can be resolved.
ABOVE: Public Defender Carey Haughwout, State Attorney Dave Aronberg, Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath and Clerk & Comptroller Sharon Bock collaborated in Operation Fresh Start.