FREE TO KILL: Superior Court launches ‘Clear My Warrant’ program in Pima County

Some probations officers call the move a mistake
KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 7:13 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 21, 2022 at 10:42 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Pima County Superior Court’s Adult Probation Department has launched a new program “Clear my Warrant.”

It’s a way to cancel a probation violation felony warrant without going to jail.

The program launched August first, but some insiders tell KOLD they’re not happy about it.

Probation officers have come forward saying they’ve been restricted in holding violent repeat offenders accountable.

Some had been absconders, like 20-year-old Andres Machado, who shot and killed 18-year-old Emma Dominguez this year.

A flyer is being released by the department to appeal to probationers who haven’t been checking in.

In a press release, the department wrote, “A person on probation “absconds” by not following the terms and conditions set by the court, including not making themselves available for supervision. Simply put, they cannot, and do not want to be, found.”

It shows that not everyone is eligible.

The department said the program mainly targets felons on probation for drug or property crimes, who may have absconded because of substance use issues.

Chief Probation Officer David Sanders said, “The public is much better protected when the probationer complies with probation conditions. The probationer is much more likely to be rehabilitated when they received services enabling them to live and thrive in the mainstream of public life.”

KOLD reached out to sources for reaction.

One of the probation offices wrote, “Allowing felony probation absconders to take a vacation from probation with little or no consequences is absurd and frankly a slap in the face to victims, the community, and to all the overworked and underpaid officers who work vigorously to defend victims and community safety. Most probation officers and police officers would say that we are tired of the soft stance of the court, county attorney office, and adult probation administration. Something has to change.”

The program is being funded by a grant from the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance. ISLG’s support will also subsidize drug testing and pay for public transportation, helping remove some of the barriers an individual confronts when trying to comply with their probation conditions.

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