Fugitives find justice at Safe Surrender

Bryan Allen was so eager to have his outstanding arrest warrant cleared yesterday, the 23-year-old got to Mattapan’s Jubilee Christian Church an hour early despite pouring rain.
Published : October 07, 2010

Bryan Allen was so eager to have his outstanding arrest warrant cleared yesterday, the 23-year-old got to Mattapan’s Jubilee Christian Church an hour early despite pouring rain. Luckily there was a tent outside the site of New England’s first Fugitive Safe Surrender program.

“I swear the news said it started at 8 o’clock,” Allen, who was facing a two-year- old Class D drug offense, said of the 5-year-old federal program, which is new to Massachusetts.

The four-day surrender program doesn’t offer amnesty; rather, people with warrants for nonviolent offenses appear before judges and typically get favorable consideration. Some cases are resolved in hours, while more complicated ones get a second hearing on another date.

Fifty fugitives participated in the program yesterday in Mattapan.

“Every month we just get more and more [warrants],” Boston Police Deputy Superintendent Bill Casey said. “With a program like this we can try to do something.”

Allen felt much better after the judge dismissed his charges and reduced his fine to $60. He’s confident he can now secure a cooking job at the Shattuck Hospital he’s trying to land.

“I can walk around and I don’t have to be nervous when the police walk past and look at me,” Allen said.

 

Church setting attractive

Balloons covered the religious overtures in the de-facto court. But a Kent State study found that roughly 80 percent of fugitives participating in the program — which has been offered at 19 other locations nationwide — said having the site at a church made them feel more comfortable.

In the first hour roughly 17 fugitives came through the doors, where an army of DAs and police officers waited.
 
Latest From ...
Most Popular From ...