Law enforcement agencies in Bradley County are offering an opportunity for misdemeanor Failure To Appear (FTA) offenders to “hit the reset button.” These offenders will be given the opportunity from 9 to 4 p.m. next Tuesday through Friday to report to the Bradley County Brian K. Smith Inmate Workhouse in order to receive their new court date.
Officials said, "With the COVID-19 pandemic situation continuing to improve, Bradley County and the city of Cleveland are beginning to return to normal. As the justice system opens more fully and the cases from the last several months are processed, it is important that law enforcement and prosecutors work proactively to make sure that the jail and courts are not overwhelmed during the first few weeks of reopening.
"BCSO Sheriff Steve Lawson, CPD Chief Mark Gibson and District Attorney General Steve Crump have come together to offer an opportunity for any misdemeanor FTA offenders to come to the Bradley County Justice Center and have their cases reset on the docket without having to go to jail.
"No defendant who appears to have his/her case reset will be arrested for their misdemeanor, but will have their cases reset for a future date. This will also serve as a proactive measure to lower the influx of inmates and court appearances that quickly accumulate when the time comes for social-distancing guidelines to be lifted."
He added, “At the risk of being misleading in any way, I want to make this particular detail as clear as possible. Those with misdemeanor FTAs who make the responsible decision to come to the Justice Center next week to ‘press the reset button’ will be taken through the booking process in order to receive their new court date, but will not be kept in jail. I believe that this opportunity is
a good one for those who have outstanding FTAs and it is in their best interest to use it.”
Sheriff Lawson said, “Our community has been very fortunate to not have experienced as many confirmed case numbers of COVID-19 as so many others have. As we begin looking ahead to when our procedures return to normal, we want to make sure that we stay safe and do not overwhelm either the jail or the court system by the coming surge of people.”
Chief Gibson said, “We are working together to progressively return to normal in a way that helps everyone. This event will help move toward that goal.”
“Those who take this opportunity to be responsible and work towards good citizenship will be given additional consideration when their cases are heard in the future,” says District Attorney General Crump. “This gives defendants who have failed to appear as required an opportunity to ‘hit the reset button’ on their cases and help themselves and the justice system at the same time.”
Bradley County’s “Hit the Reset Button Week” will take place at the Brian K. Smith Inmate Workhouse 9-4 p.m. beginning Tuesday, May 26 until Friday, May 29. Anyone with an outstanding misdemeanor FTA in Bradley County is encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. All appropriate social distancing guidelines will be followed during the course of this four-day event.