Cuyahoga County

Child support warrants cleared through program at Juvenile Justice Center


CLEVELAND - In just three months, Cuyahoga County's child support warrant recall program has helped 220 parents get back on their feet -- and do the right thing.

It was started by Judges Denise Rini and Alison Floyd on January 8, 2016 and so far, they have collected more than $225,000 in owed child support.

With more than 3,200 outstanding child support warrants in the county, Judge Rini said they had to do something.

"These are good people. All they want to do is be able to raise their children, see their children," she said.

For five years, John Watkins, 35, felt like a criminal. That's because the father of nine got behind -- way behind -- on his child support payments. Soon after, everything else fell behind, too.

"Next thing you know, they suspend your license, you have warrants on you, your next thing is jail time," Watkins said. "Who's going to take care of the kids then, if you're sitting in jail? So this program helps you to get back on your feet."

The program runs every Friday at the Juvenile Justice Center at 9300 Quincy Ave. Parents with outstanding child support warrants can come in any time between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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