Santa Clara County is once again offering its annual gift to residents who are wanted for misdemeanor offenses. To avoid being booked into county jail during the holidays, local law enforcement agencies will allow anyone with a nonviolent misdemeanor warrant or traffic warrant to self-surrender and receive a citation with a new court date. The program is known as Operation Second Chance 2011 and it is available regardless of the bail amount. However, felony warrants and any case that involves violence are exempt from consideration. So is the program actually a success? Mercury News reports:
“It's an understatement to say how popular this program is. In the past six years, more than 2,100 people have taken advantage of the program and avoided spending the holidays in jail by self-surrendering, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. Anyone with a misdemeanor warrant should go to the police agency that issued the arrest to surrender and be released on the spot.”
While some people clearly want to avoid time behind bars during the holidays, others may find the time locked-up a welcome reprieve from holiday madness and annoying family members. At least no one expects any gifts when you’re in the slammer.