Phila tries amnesty for deadbeat parents

    Deadbead Moms and Dads have a chance to make a new payment deal under an amnesty program now in place at Philadelphia Family Court.

    Deadbead Moms and Dads have a chance to make a new payment deal under an amnesty program now in place at Philadelphia Family Court.
    Caption: Administrative Judge of Philadelphia Family Court Kevin Dougherty

    Listen:
    [audio: 091112tmamnesty.mp3]

    Under the program, which runs now through next Wednesday, November 18, non-custodial parents facing arrest for not paying child support can surrender and work on a new payment plan without the fear of being jailed. Kevin Dougherty is Administrative Judge of Family Court. He says the court will also help parents without jobs find employment so they can make payments.

    Dougherty: And many of these jobs have benefits. It is our job to rectify a wrong, not to cast blame but to invite those who have been separated from their families for fear of arrest and incarceration we’re welcoming them back into our doors.

    One father who formerly was facing a bench warrant said after his surrender that it was a relief not to have to hide from authorities. At least 70 people surrendered in the first hours of the program.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.