FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Thousands of St. Louis area residents hoping to avoid extended legal entanglements are flocking to events this week that give low-level offenders a second chance to resolve outstanding warrants and avoid arrest.
Hundreds came to St. Louis Community College's Florissant Valley campus Wednesday morning to receive vouchers they can use at participating courts. The vouchers and a nominal payment allow participants to schedule future court dates on their own rather than going to jail if stopped for an unrelated traffic violation.
Event organizer James Clark of the Better Family Life community group emphasizes that the program is not a "get out of jail free card." He says it helps keeps otherwise law-abiding citizens out of the penal system while also generating needed revenue for the 43 participating municipalities.