The Associated Press
6:34 AM EST, March 7, 2011
A nationwide program that targets fugitives accused of nonviolent crimes and allows them to safely surrender at churches has been eliminated by the U.S. Marshals Service because it didn’t fit the service’s mission of catching violent fugitives, a spokesman said.
More than 34,000 people in 20 cities, including Baltimore, have turned themselves in through Fugitive Safe Surrender. Spokesman Jeff Carter told The Plain Dealer of Cleveland for Sunday’s editions that the program cost $250,000 annually. Funding was dropped this year after a review of programs aimed at reducing violent crime.
“While Fugitive Safe Surrender’s goals were laudable, the agency could not sustain this unfunded initiative,” Carter said.
The program paired the marshals with other law enforcement agents and churches. About 10 percent of those surrendering have faced felony charges, including rape, robbery, child abduction and murder, the newspaper reported.
Baltimore’s most recent Safe Surrender event attracted 985 people with outstanding warrants in June.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press