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Thousands come in during annual amnesty program

The City of Vicksburg’s annual amnesty period for paying overdue court fines while avoiding jail time came to an end on April 10.

The annual program started Feb. 1, and allowed people with overdue fines from traffic violations, contempt of court or other misdemeanor offenses to pay their fines in full or begin payment plans without having to pay the warrant fee.

The city received $85,122.35 in payments from 181 people during the amnesty period.

Judge Toni Terrett said that number does not include those who came in and started payment plans.

Terrett said the program is beneficial to the city because people are incentivized to come pay their fines because they can do so without having to going to jail and having to go before a judge.

She added it also helps those who may have forgotten to have a chance to pay their fines, before they are picked up during a traffic stop or for another offense.

The amount collected this year was an increase of $20,709.50 over what was collected in 2015, the most recent year that data is available.

The Vicksburg Municipal Court raised $61,756.41 in 2014 and $55,4449.08 from the program in 2013.

The money raised from the program is deposited into the city’s general fund.