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Wanted on Warrants

The Fugitive Safe Surrender Program

Daniel J. Flannery

Publication Year: 2012

Since 2005, the Fugitive Safe Surrender (FSS) program has been implemented in more than twenty cities around the country. Tens of thousands of individuals with active warrants for their arrest have voluntarily surrendered to law enforcement in a church or other neutral setting. The sites are transformed for four days into complete justice systems with pretrial-intake, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and probation/parole and community services staff. The program is advertised through local media and various community-based outlets, sending the message that individuals with nonviolent felony and misdemeanor warrants can voluntarily surrender to law enforcement and receive expedited action and favorable consideration of their cases.

Author Daniel J. Flannery has gathered information on who turns themselves in, what the warrant is for, how long the warrant has been active, and what happens to the individual. He asked participants to complete voluntarily an anonymous survey about demographics, how they heard about the program, why they surrendered, why they had not previously surrendered, what they think will happen to them, and what they might need help with in the future. Wanted on Warrants uses these site reports, media coverage, interviews with participants, and survey data to explain why FSS has proven to be such a consummate success in clearing outstanding warrants. Across all sites, less than 2% of people with warrants who surrendered during FSS were arrested. Rather, they were released to go home within hours of turning themselves in.

This collaborative initiative between local and federal law enforcement and community faith-based organizations is unique and has proven to be a successful program that is being copied and initiated throughout the country. Wanted on Warrants offers valuable insights into what happens during and after an FSS program and will be welcomed by policymakers and practitioners.

Published by: The Kent State University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

List of Tables

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xvii

I wear many hats. I am a clinical psychologist, trained in child development and in childhood and adolescent mental disorders and treatment modalities. For the past 14 years or so, I served at Kent State University as director of the Institute for the Study and Prevention of Violence and as professor of public health. Recently I moved to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland...

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1. Officer Wayne Leon

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pp. 1-3

It started out like every other day. But one decisive moment changed that day forever. Officer Leon left home at 7:00 a.m. sharp, as usual, as his three young children, Gabbey, Justin, and Nicholas stood by the window vigorously waving good-bye and calling his name through the thick living room window glass. He could not hear them, but he could see their smiles, so he slowed at the end ...

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2. In the Beginning

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pp. 4-10

Implementing the FSS program requires active collaboration among all the core partners, including federal and local law enforcement, the local faith-based community, media and community partners, volunteers, local businesses (who often donate food, equipment, and materials), and all facets and principals of the local justice system. Every city that implemented the program through ...

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3. The Fugitive Safe Surrender Program

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pp. 11-20

Upon arriving at the facility, individuals who chose to voluntarily surrender were greeted at the church entrance or in the parking lot by a trained community volunteer. The volunteer answered questions and guided individuals through the process. The first step was for the fugitive to pass through a metal detector manned by law enforcement officers; the setup was much like what exists in the ...

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4. Collecting the Data: Who Showed Up and Why?

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pp. 21-37

What follows is a summary of how information was gathered in most FSS sites. Additional information on procedures and survey results can be found in Flan-nery and Kretschmar (2012). In most FSS sites, a local staff person created a spreadsheet of data elements for every individual who surrendered. The staff person positioned at the Warrant Check station entered for each individual all ...

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5. What Are the Implications for Criminal Justice Practic eand Policy?

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pp. 38-52

The implementation of FSS generates many questions for practice and policy in the criminal justice system, particularly why fugitives with open warrants would voluntarily surrender at a church. Responses to almost every question asked on the survey leads to a policy discussion of how the current justice sys-tem operates and why fugitives decide to turn themselves in or stay on the run....

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6. Profiles in Action

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pp. 53-88

This section of the book provides what I call a “Profile in Action” for each FSS city. This profile highlights some of the key characteristics of who surrendered at FSS. For many of the cities, the profile includes a description of what happened there, stories or lessons learned (based on my observations and experiences), and media quotes of participants and partners that highlight what Fugitive ...

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pp. 89-90

There were countless volunteers who contributed to the implementation and success of Fugitive Safe Surrender in every city, and without them the program would not have been implemented with such compassion. The support and participation of all the formal and informal partners is also acknowledged and greatly appreciated. Local programs could not have been implemented ...

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pp. 91-94

The following was posted by Rev. Bill Howard of Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, shortly after the Fugitive Safe Surrender program was On November 4–7, Bethany experienced an uncommon encounter when Fugitive Safe Surrender (FSS), a program sponsored nationally by the U.S. Marshals Service, with the support of Rutgers University and virtually every law ...

Appendix 1: Sample Warrant Information Sheet

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pp. 95-96

Appendix 2: Sample Intake Surveys

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pp. 97-100


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pp. 101-102


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pp. 103-106


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pp. 107-110

Back Cover

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p. 130-130

E-ISBN-13: 9781612777399
E-ISBN-10: 1612777392
Print-ISBN-13: 9781606351611

Page Count: 160
Publication Year: 2012