Authorities are hoping that the Jubilee Christian Church in Mattapan will be the gathering place for hundreds of fugitives wanted by police next month.
That’s where the U.S. Marshals Service will bring its Fugitive Safe Surrender program for the first time to Boston on Oct. 6.
The four-day surrender is not an amnesty program, authorities warn. Instead, it offers people with warrants for nonviolent felonies or misdemeanors the chance to turn themselves in at a neutral location, take care of their warrant issues before judicial officials in one day and be released hours later. While the handling of the cases is determined by the judges and prosecutors on site, the people who turn themselves in typically get favorable consideration, according to the Marshals Service.
Since it first launched in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2005, the program has taken place in about 17 cities, usually in neutral sites like churches.
“We see it as a win-win for community and law enforcement,” said Jubilee Pastor Matthew K. Thompson. “There are a lot of people in the community that won’t go for jobs or be productive because they are worried about their warrant.”
The Marshals Service touts it as a re-entry program for people who “live in constant fear of arrest, and out of the mainstream of their own communities.” They also said the program reduces the risk authorities face when perusing these fugitives.
Attorneys will be on site for those who turn themselves in and church leaders have asked for volunteers to assist people.