FUGITIVE SAFE SURRENDER

fugitive safe surrender

The Fugitive Safe Surrender (FSS) program is a unique, creative, and highly successful initiative that encourages persons wanted for non-violent felony or misdemeanor crimes to voluntarily surrender to the law in a faith-based or other neutral setting. The Begun Center provides evaluation services for the FSS program and has been onsite at over 20 FSS operations since 2006.

Read more about Daniel Flannery’s new book on FSS, ‘Wanted on Warrants’

The program started in the wake of the death of Cleveland Police Officer Wayne Leon who was killed in the line of duty in 2000, shot during a routine traffic stop, murdered by the driver who had an open warrant and didn’t want to go back to prison. The driver shot Wayne Leon as the officer approached the vehicle. Officer Leon’s death was the prompt for what has resulted in a model where police officers could safely interact with people in the community who have open warrants in a secure way and in a non-confrontational environment, thus avoiding this kind of tragedy. And the best location to try and create such an environment, they surmised, would be a church.

The program was originally managed nationally by the United States Marshals Service and is currently funded and managed through Ohio’s Attorney General’s Office. FSS is a community re-entry program for wanted non-violent offenders and offers individuals with felony and misdemeanor warrants the ability to turn themselves in to law enforcement and have their cases adjudicated in a safe and non-violent environment.

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. Authorized by Congress in July 2006, Fugitive Safe Surrender is believed to be the first program of its kind in the nation.

Community Members Involved in Fugitive Safe Surrender
According to the Ohio Office of Attorney General’s FSS Web page , to host a successful Fugitive Safe Surrender event, the following community members should be involved in the program.

– Front-line law enforcement (sheriffs and police)
– Prosecutors (county and municipal)
– Judges (county and municipal)
– Public defenders
– Local bar association
– Probation offices
– Clerk of courts office
– Court administrator’s office
– Social services
– Local clergy

Depending on the location, other people or agencies may participate. Click here for more information.


Daniel J. Flannery, Principal Investigator

daniel.flannery@case.edu.
(216) 368-0109


Additional Resources Relating to Fugitive Safe Surrender

Fugitive Safe Surrender | Ohio Office of the Attorney General
Tens of thousands of fugitives are present in the state of Ohio. Many are wanted for violent crimes, non-violent felonies and misdemeanor infractions. It is law enforcement’s responsibility to apprehend these fugitives. These duties are among the most dangerous faced by authorities. Fugitive status creates a broad range of burdens and dangers for the fugitives themselves, their families and the community. Fugitives often hide their identities, either to avoid detection or to further their criminal behavior. They live in constant fear of arrest, and out of the mainstream of their own communities. The Ohio FSS program offers a unique opportunity to take their first and most crucial step toward community re-entry.

Fugitive Safe Surrender | US Marshall’s Services
Created and orchestrated by the United States Marshals Service as a community re-entry program for wanted non-violent offenders, Fugitive Safe Surrender offers individuals with felony and misdemeanor warrants the ability to turn themselves in to law enforcement and have their cases adjudicated in a safe and non-violent environment.