Hundreds of people attended an event held at Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church to help resolve assorted legal issues, including outstanding warrants.
Called “Make It Right,” Lakewood hosted the event on Saturday at the specific request of the local district attorney’s office and Harris County Commissioners.
In comments emailed to The Christian Post, Lakewood Church General Counsel Regan Vansteenis explained that the church agreed to hold the event because “we believe in second chances.”
“The event offered attendees an alternative to appearing in court for low-level, nonviolent misdemeanor offenses. The event also offered a legal resource clinic with a team of volunteer attorneys and members from the Harris County Public Defender’s Office offering free legal advice to the attendees,” said Vansteenis.
“In addition, attendees had the opportunity to attend a resource fair with job training and educational opportunities including representatives from Houston Community College, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Houston Independent School District Drop Out Prevention Program, among others.”
This was the first time that Lakewood Church had coordinated such an event, with one local media outlet reporting that approximately 5,000 were invited.
Rodney Ellis, Harris County Commissioner for Precinct 1, said in a press release quoted by KTRK that he strongly supported the event.
“This is a great opportunity for thousands of people to resolve their outstanding warrants and make a new start,” stated Ellis.
“This event also benefits law enforcement agencies by allowing them to clear warrants without the expense and risks involved in arresting people on minor offenses.”
The Houston-based KTRK also reported that charges which could be addressed at the Make It Right event included “minor consuming or possessing alcohol, criminal mischief, failure to appear, drug paraphernalia, public intoxication, disorderly conduct and theft of less than $100.”
“Traffic offenses and felonies are not eligible,” noted KTRK.
SOURCE: The Christian Post – Michael Gryboski