Begin Again Program Giving Some New Yorkers A Fresh Start

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New Yorkers with outstanding warrants for low-level offenses are being encouraged to take care of them this weekend at a church in Brooklyn.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, it’s called the Begin Again program.

On Friday, David Barns walked out of the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Clinton Hill with a huge smile on his face.

“This program is awesome, I can’t say that enough,” he said.

The 30-year-old Brooklyn man was issued a summons in April for having an open container. But after seeing a judge, it was dismissed.

“The goal is to help people, lift this burden off their shoulders,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.

Thompson said many New Yorkers are in danger of going to jail for failure to respond to summonses for low-level offenses.

“This is not saying we are soft on crime,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said.

Adams, a former police officer, said these programs free up time for authorities to go after the bad guys.

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