Fugitive Safe Surrender receives Outstanding Program Award
Columbus, OH— The Cleveland Fugitive Safe Surrender (FSS) program received the Outstanding Program Award from the Ohio State Bar Foundation on November 4 in Columbus.
The program was created by U.S. Marshal Peter Elliot after a Cleveland police officer was killed by an individual being served an arrest warrant. In the fall of 2010, FSS brought in a national record of 7,431 fugitives over a four day period at Mount Zion Church in Cleveland. Since its inception thousands of fugitives have surrendered in 25 cities across the country.
The goal of Fugitive Safe Surrender is to reduce the risk to law enforcement officers who pursue fugitives, to the neighborhoods in which they hide, and to the fugitives themselves. Federal Public Defender Dennis Terez said, “I am pleased to nominate the FSS program for the prestigious OSBF award. It is long overdue. We in our community and in our state need to take the time to acquaint ourselves with this great program that has helped so many people.”
The FSS program uses churches and community centers as temporary courthouses where people with outstanding arrest warrants can turn themselves in by way of a non-threatening environment. For thousands of fugitives who have no history of violence, FSS offers a unique opportunity to take their first and most crucial step toward community re-entry. This is not an amnesty program, but individuals who turn themselves in often benefit from their cooperation and willingness to participate in the program. One evaluator of the program said, “People have continued to show up to put their lives back together, to live without looking over their shoulders.”
About the Award
This award is given annually to a program or organization that promotes the dissemination of information about, increase access to, and/or generates improvements in the Ohio justice system.
About the Ohio State Bar Foundation
The Ohio State Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that works to advance the law and build a better justice system. Through our grants and programs, we educate and perform outreach to the public to make the law fair for all Ohioans. For more information about the Ohio State Bar Foundation, please visit www.osbf.net.
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