SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg County is giving residents a chance to clean up their record this week through its Family Court Child Support Bench Warrant Amnesty Program.

Through the doors of the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, awaits a new beginning for some Spartanburg County residents. That is where a program is giving residents who have fallen behind on child support, a second chance.

“If you do have a child support family court bench warrant, this is your opportunity to come in and speak with staff, speak with staffing agencies to get this bench warrant recalled, but also to gain your employment to start working and have these payments coming in,” said Bathsheba Browning, Spartanburg County Senior Administrative Assistant.

Program administrators said it is the county’s first-ever child support amnesty program. According to the county, offenders are given the opportunity to pay a lumpsum of their child support or set up a payment plan and have their warrants forgiven.

“We are trying to get the defendants in to get that recalled,” said Browning.

As of Wednesday, there were more than 400 warrants impacting families. County leaders said they hope to recall a majority of them.

“This is really a second chance for defendants to come in, discuss your case with us, and let us know what’s going on,” said Browning.

From the outside of the auditorium, deputy patrol cars can bee seen sitting in the parking lot. But, don’t let that deter you.

“It’s not a trick. You can come and get your warrant lifted. Some people will see police officers here but they are here to protect us,” said Browning.

Inside the building awaits a clean slate, including employment opportunities and resources like the Upstate Fatherhood Coalition.

“If they have any issues with child support, not being able to pay, having these bench warrants, we are excusing all of those if they come join the fatherhood, get the classes,” said Phillip Hagood with the Upstate Fatherhood Coalition.

The county said your willingness to attend shows initiative, which is why they are allowing a second chance.

“You will not go to jail; you will not get arrested,” said Browning. “We are here to help the defendant to make this program successful.” 

“We are giving them an opportunity to correct those mistakes, be in their children’s lives, help them to understand that way they don’t have to repeat the same cycles that they went through,” said Hagood.

You can attend the program on the following dates/times:

(Courtesy: Spartanburg County Communications)

According to Spartanburg County leaders, depending on the success of the program, they could hold something similar in the future.