The latest Fugitive Safe Surrender program in New Jersey has set an all-time record for individuals wanted by law enforcement turning themselves in.

Fugitive Safe Surrender (David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ)

In total, 4,587 people surrendered at the four-day event held in Jersey City, resolving about 10,000 non-violent criminal and civil warrants.

“This Fugitive Safe Surrender event was a tremendous, record-breaking success that will touch thousands of lives for the better – not just the nearly 5,000 individuals who surrendered, but the lives of their loved ones and fellow New Jerseyans,” said Acting State Attorney General John Hoffman.

New Jersey State Parole Board Chairman James Plousis added “the number of peaceful surrenders has exceeded our expectations and resulted in the third-largest Fugitive Safe Surrender event in the nation.  Every single individual who took advantage of this program has made New Jersey safer. The former fugitives can finally walk in public without the fear that they will be stopped by law enforcement. This in turn frees up police resources that can better be used on other public safety matters.”

Officials also stressed the positive economic impact of the program:

  • A total of approximately $40,000 in municipal and superior court income was collected during the four-day event.
  • More will be collected as hundreds of overflow cases are heard this week.  Still more will be collected on a scheduled basis from those assigned payment plans.
  • Each person who surrenders represents an estimated savings of $500 to local governments.  This estimate is based on the police and jail costs involved in processing someone wanted on a municipal traffic warrant.
  • Additional economic benefits follow when the former fugitives become eligible to apply for driver’s license reinstatement, and the employment and other opportunities that come with having a state-issued identification and privilege to drive.
  • Still greater intangible benefits result when individuals are free to stop hiding from the law and to become contributing members of their families and society.

With Jersey City's event, a total of nearly 18,000 individuals have turned themselves in at New Jersey’s five Fugitive Safe Surrender opportunities.

“By offering favorable consideration, not amnesty, New Jersey has helped an astounding 18,000 individuals begin to build new lives through Fugitive Safe Surrender.  This is exactly the sort of collaborative partnership that helps break the cycle of unlawful behavior and makes our communities safer,” said Hoffman.