Event Will Help New Yorkers Resolve Open Warrants for Quality of Life Offenses
Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark announced today that her office will host its second annual summons warrant forgiveness program in the Bronx, inviting residents from all five boroughs to clear their records and move on with their lives.
The “Another Chance” event, in partnership with the Office of Court Administration and The Bronx Defenders, will be held on Saturday, August 5, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Eastchester Presbyterian Church, 3154 Fish Avenue at the corner of East Gun Hill Road in the Baychester section of the Bronx. A resource fair also will be held.
District Attorney Clark said, “This is a way to give people “Another Chance” to remove a potential obstacle to employment, citizenship, housing or educational opportunities. If you have had a minor brush with the law such as drinking alcohol in public, littering or unlawful possession of marijuana and did not address it, you have a warrant. If you do not resolve these warrants, they can adversely affect aspects of your life but even more significantly, they can lead to arrest and jail time. I urge those who are eligible for this warrant forgiveness program to clear their records and look to a brighter future.”
Supervising Judge for Citywide Arraignments George Grasso said, “On behalf of our Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, the Criminal Court of Bronx County is proud to participate once again in the Bronx District Attorney’s “Another Chance” Program. This is another fine example of the ability of the Criminal Court to work with our partners to effect justice and fairness in Bronx County.”
Robyn Mar, Deputy Managing Director of Criminal Defense Practice at The Bronx Defenders, said, “Open warrants for low-level summonses affect people's ability to keep their jobs, homes, and even to remain in this country with their families. Events like this can go a long way toward undoing that harm. We applaud District Attorney Clark for hosting this amnesty program and giving Bronx residents a chance to resume their lives without the burden of an open warrant and the constant fear of arrest."
Pastor Phil Tom, of the Eastchester Presbyterian Church, said, “Eastchester Presbyterian Church is honored to work with the Bronx District Attorney, the New York City Office of Court Administration and other agencies in hosting the Another Chance event. It seems appropriate that this event will be held in a church building where we believe that God provides every person with another chance to have a good and fruitful life.”
There are 1.5 million open summons warrants citywide, 334,000 of them in the Bronx. A mobile courtroom will be created in the Eastchester Presbyterian Church with Honorable Bahaati Pitt, Criminal Court Judge, presiding, as well as attorneys and staff from the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and The Bronx Defenders. District Attorney Clark said 500 people attended last year’s event and some 355 warrants were cleared.
Vendors will be on site providing information and resources on jobs, health care, and social services.