Bail collection nears $1 million in 2011

One year after launching a major bail collection initiative, Philadelphia officials now say they are nearing the $1 million mark.

The “Stand Up, Pay Up,” campaign was one of many announced last year to help the city recoup critical funds. First Judicial District officials hoped to collect as much as $1 billion through mailings, publishing the names of those who owe online and making public service announcements. Between January and June, the city has collected $873,000 — putting it on pace for $1.4 million for the year, according to Court Administrator David Wasson.

Last year, court officials estimated that the money could be owed by as many as 200,000 people dating back 40 years for failing to appear in court.

The money collected goes the city’s general fund. While $1 million represents less than 1 percent of the city’s budget, Wasson said officials have noticed an overall improvement in bail payment since announcing the effort.

The list is still being published online, Wasson said, and the city remains vigilant about going after those who fail to pay or otherwise make payment arrangements.

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