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Warrants Program Brings In Cash

In the first three months of 1996, Kootenai County has collected twice the amount of fine money from arrest warrants than it did the year before, according to the sheriff’s department.

Arrest warrants for contempt often are issued when people fail to pay fines for their crimes or fail to show up in court. Those arrest warrants often can be canceled - or quashed - if the wanted person shows up at the courthouse and pays the fine.

From Jan. 1 to April 3 in 1995, 41 contempt warrants were quashed, bringing in $9,860. In the same time this year, 88 contempt warrants have been canceled bringing in $25,162, said Kootenai County sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger.

This has meant not only more money for the county, but fewer people in Kootenai County’s overcrowded jail, Wolfinger said.

Wolfinger said he believes the sheriff’s department’s new warrants program has helped convince more people to pay their fines. The sheriff’s department runs a weekly list of the wanted people.

When the program started in January, sheriff’s officials hoped to clear up 10 percent of the outstanding warrants. The clearance rate has been almost 39 percent, Wolfinger said. , DataTimes

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