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4,587

December 2, 2013

Tax amnesty. Gun buybacks. And now there is Fugitive Safe Surrender, a national program in which those with outstanding arrest warrants turn themselves in, hoping to gain favorable consideration from the law.

A recent event in Jersey City saw 4,587 individuals voluntarily turn themselves in, the third-highest number nationally since the program began in 2005. The program is open only to those with nonviolent criminal and civil warrants against them.

Many individuals were able to pay reduced fines and settle warrants, allowing them to live without fear of being pulled over and arrested. A total of about $40,000 in municipal and superior court income was collected during the November event.

According to the program, each person who surrenders saves local government an estimated $500, which is what it would cost to process and jail someone on a traffic warrant.

Of the 4,587 individuals who turned themselves in, 63 percent were wanted for traffic warrants; 33 percent were wanted for misdemeanor criminal warrants; 4 percent for child support or family court matters. Two individuals were taken into custody because the program is only open to those with no violent criminal history.

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