Craighead County Hopes New System Will Help Get Fines

March 16, 2005--Posted 4:00 pm CST

Jonesboro, AR--If you oweCraighead County’s Justice System money, you may want to keep an eye on your mailbox.  Craighead County Sheriff Jack McCann said, “over the next few days or as soon as the system is up and running we will be notifying people owing fines by letter to tell them they’re delinquent.”


The new system the Sheriff is talking about will bring the departments files into the digital age.  Each day hundreds of files are being digitized by secretaries with the Sheriff’s department.


“In the past if you owed a fine the information was kept right here,” McCann says.  “If someone owed you restitution we had know way of knowing about it until they were arrested.”


Now a computer will keep tabs of all the information.  Fee totals will literally be a click of the mouse away.  Even more impressive, the computer will actually mail out reminders to those who fall more than fifteen days behind on their payments.  If you ignore the letters then you can expect to ‘get served.’


“If you do not answer the letter then you can expect to be issued a warrant,” McCann says.  “The warrant would be to show cause which is a mandatory appearance before the judge.”


And it could get worse.  “If they are on parole then we can seek to have their parole revoked.”  Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Brent Davis said.  “If they are not they can still be held in contempt of court.”


Right now the county estimates they are owed more than 8 million dollars in court fees, fines, and restitution payments.  They acknowledge some of the money will be impossible to get back.  Their hopes is to recoup about fifty percent of outstanding funds.