New city court program could save money, jail time - Tucson News Now

New city court program could save money, jail time

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A new program that Tucson City Court plans to start next month could save tax payer dollars and a defendant from spending a night in jail.

It is called 24 Hour Alternatives to Jail or ATJ for short.

The city court has, for several years, had alternatives to jail programs, but none like this one. In fact, city court officials said they believe they are the first in the state to have this type of program.

The court administrator told Tucson News Now this program could save the city millions of dollars, if it works.

Currently if someone is pulled over for speeding and they have a warrant, the officer would most likely take that person to jail.

With this new program, the officer can call a judge. The judge will look up the person information, then determine if the person can be released with certain conditions or booked into jail. It will be used for people with new charges, warrants, and charges that do not involve victims.

The booking cost for jail $300 and each additional stay is $90 a day. Court officials say they are trying to avoid that $300 fee with this program.

This program will run as a pilot for 30 days. After that, the courts will go to the Mayor and Council and give a progress report on the program.

If it is successful, the court will ask the council for funding for the program.

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