Fugitive Safe Surrender – November 3-6, 2010

Wanted By The Law? – Fugitive Safe Surrender – November 3 – November 6, 2010

For four days in November fugitives in New Jersey will be able to stop running and start to get their lives back on track. The Fugitive Safe Surrender program enables individuals with warrants and other non-violent felonies to peacefully surrender at a neutral setting. It is open to US citizens and legal residents only. It will be held Wednesday, November 3 through Saturday, November 6, 2010 at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, 771 Somerset Street, in Somerset, New Jersey. It is open to anyone with a New Jersey warrant regardless of where in the state they live. Program officials indicate it is not an amnesty program although favorable treatment is given and cases can typically result in probation or reduced fines.

According to the Fugitive Safe Surrender website, about 98 percent of those who turn themselves in are not taken into custody. However, fugitives with warrants for violent crimes are more likely to be taken into custody. Lawyers will be present and available to provide legal assistance. Representatives from social service agencies will be present to provide information on social services, such as employment, health care, housing, drug rehabilitation, etc.

Reverend DeForest Soaries, Jr., pastor of the hosting church, First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens , recently stated, “We are opening our church to Fugitive Safe Surrender because we believe in the benefits of offering a second chance to those who have broken the law. By taking this big step, people who live in hiding today can find peace of mind, freedom within the law, and the opportunity to take on new responsibility for themselves and their families.” Approximately 2500 are expected to take advantage of this year’s event. Prior events in Camden in 2008 and in Newark in 2009 allowed over 6000 fugitives to clear their warrants.

Fugitive Safe Surrender posters are available for community distribution in both English and Spanish.

For more information, call 732-828-2009 or visit www.fssnj.com. The surrender site, First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, will be open 9am to 4pm, November 3 through November 6.

Author: Michael Swayze

A retired county welfare agency administrator, who combines social work and computer skills to share information on community resources via the Internet since 1995. Active in voter engagement activities in Philadelphia, PA.

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