Fugitives surrender in Camden

Fugitives in New Jersey are turning themselves in Wednesday as part of the national Fugitive Safe Surrender program.

At Antioch Baptist Church in Camden, hundreds of people lined up in an attempt to get their day in court. State Parole Board Chairman Peter Barnes Jr. says most people wanted for nonviolent offenses, such as drug possession or theft, will be able to return home the same day after being given a later court date.

Fugitive Safe Surrender has been held in 11 U.S. cities, resulting in the resolution of 14,892 cases. It began in Cleveland in 2005 after a city police officer was killed by a fugitive. The program was authorized by Congress the next year.

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, which runs the program, Fugitive Safe Surrender is an initiative that encourages people wanted for nonviolent felony or misdemeanor crimes to voluntarily surrender in a faith-based or other neutral setting.

Antioch Baptist Church on Ferry Street will be hosting the program for the next three days.

AP wire services contributed to this article.

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