Help is available for people who owe criminal and traffic fines and fees to Rock Island County. The circuit clerk's office is offering an amnesty program for them to pay what they owe or set up a payment plan.
Circuit Clerk Tammy Weikert says the pandemic has made it difficult for many people to pay their fines and fees, but the alternative is worse.
"If the case gets referred to collections, a 30 per cent fee by statute gets added to those cases. We don't collect the fee and we don't receive the fee. The fee is collected by the collections agency and so we want to try to avoid those cases from being referred.
Persuading people to pay up will also help the circuit clerk's office because it's funded by these fees.
Wiekert says remote meetings with her payment hearing officer are preferred - because of the pandemic, but also to help people who otherwise might have to miss work and find child care while they went to her office in person.
The amnesty program ends on October 25th.