'Fugitive Safe Surrender' takes place in Somerset

New Jersey's "Fugitive Safe Surrender" program begins today in Somerset.Offenders with outstanding warrants can turn themselves in through Saturday at the First Baptist Church of

NEWARK - New Jersey's "Fugitive Safe Surrender" program begins today in Somerset.

Offenders with outstanding warrants can turn themselves in through Saturday at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens.

After the fugitives surrender at the church, they will be transported to McKinley School in New Brunswick, where they will meet with a judge.

Fugitives do not receive amnesty. But officials say they are viewed favorably by the courts, often receiving probation or reduced fines. They also may get job skills training and substance abuse counseling referrals.

New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow says the program is cost-effective and poses less risk to law enforcement officers.

The program is aimed at nonviolent offenders. Many are wanted for drug possession, traffic violations or unpaid child support.

AP wire services contributed to this report.

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