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U.S. Marshals Service

Fugitive Safe Surrender

Fugitive Safe Surrender FAQs

1. Can I turn myself in at a Fugitive Safe Surrender site even if my warrant is NOT from the county where FSS is taking place?

Fugitive Safe Surrender benefits people with a warrant issued by the county where the program is being held. If you are wanted by law enforcement in the county where the program is occurring, you will be welcomed at that Fugitive Safe Surrender site.

If you have a warrant from a different city or county than where FSS is currently underway, you may still surrender at FSS, but your chances of being taken into custody may be GREATER because authorities from the city or county where your warrant was issued will not be present at the host church.


2. Will there be attorneys on-site where I surrender to assist me?

Yes. In fact, in many Fugitive Safe Surrender cities, the local Public Defender’s Office is a participating partner in the program.


3. Will I go to jail if I turn myself in at FSS?

Everyone’s case is different. However, in most locations, 90% or more of people who surrender during FSS do NOT go to jail. They are released directly from the church where they surrendered within hours of turning themselves in.

This is because most persons who surrender during FSS are wanted for non-violent offenses and have no history of violence.


4. I don’t have a driver’s license. What sort of ID do I need to bring?

You can bring any form of ID that you have – Social Security card, birth certificate, Medicare/Medicaid card, etc. If you do not have any ID, you may still turn yourself in during Fugitive Safe Surrender. Most FSS participants will be fingerprinted once they register at the surrender site.


5. Do I have to be there at 9am or can I come any time during the day?

Fugitive Safe Surrender typically operates from 9am to 5pm over a specified 4-day period. You are welcome during those hours. You may also arrive earlier than 9am during those four days if you wish to reduce your wait time.


6. Do you provide child care at the site?

Some churches hosting Fugitive Safe Surrender sites provide child care. Please check with the FSS site in your area prior to bringing children with you. In addition, some Fugitive Safe Surrender sites offer information on local social services, such as jobs, health care, housing, drug rehabilitation, etc.


7. Where are the future sites of the program? What is the future schedule?

The Marshals Service plans to sponsor Fugitive Safe Surrender at additional sites as funding becomes available. The future sites and schedules will be listed on this website, so keep checking back for updates.


8. Can I still turn myself in if I am wanted on a violent charge?

All fugitives are welcome to surrender at FSS, and some people with violent warrants – or previous convictions for violent offenses – surrender, too. Unlike those with non-violent warrants who have no history of violence, however, individuals with violent warrants and/or histories are typically taken into custody.


9. I am a member of law enforcement or the clergy and am interested in bringing Fugitive Safe Surrender to my area. How do I go about doing this?

Fugitive Safe Surrender is led by the U.S. Marshals Service and requires the cooperation and coordination of government, corporate, nonprofit, and faith-based partners within each community. Speak to the United States Marshal in your District and explore FSS hosting options with him or her.


10. Is Fugitive Safe Surrender an amnesty program?

No, Fugitive Safe Surrender is not an amnesty program. Fugitive Safe Surrender offers individuals who want to re-enter the mainstream of their communities a first step toward a second chance in the form of favorable consideration from the court. The handling of criminal charges is decided by the prosecutor and judge, but favorable consideration is typically given in the spirit of the program.


11. Is there a religious requirement to participate in the program?

There is no religious requirement. Fugitive Safe Surrender provides fugitives with the opportunity to surrender to authorities in a faith-based or other neutral setting. If you want to participate in the FSS program in your area but do not want to surrender in a faith-based setting, alternative arrangements can be made.


12. What happens if I don’t turn myself in during the 4-day surrender period?

Generally, when the surrender period ends, the Marshals Service will assist state and local law enforcement agencies in arresting fugitives with outstanding warrants throughout the Fugitive Safe Surrender host city or counties.


13. How is Fugitive Safe Surrender funded?

Fugitive Safe Surrender was authorized by Congress as part of the Adam Walsh Child
Protection and Safety Act of 2006, which was signed into law by President Bush on July 27, 2006. However, while this bill authorized the FSS program, it did not provide any funds for the program. Currently, funds come from within the U.S. Marshals Service budget or as grants from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs.

More than two dozen other cities are under consideration for their own Fugitive Safe Surrender operations in the coming months and years. On May 15, 2007, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales authorized the USMS to conduct at least three Fugitive Safe Surrender operations this calendar year as part of a consolidated Department of Justice effort to combat violent crime.

 

Fugitive Safe Surrender

 

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