DC Safe Surrender aims to reduce outstanding bench warrants

WASHINGTON (AP) - District of Columbia officials are giving people with outstanding bench warrants the opportunity to self-surrender rather than be arrested.

The Safe Surrender program is taking place on the next three Saturdays at D.C. Superior Court. Officials say the program allows anyone who has an outstanding parole, pre-trial release or probation bench warrant for non-violent felonies or misdemeanors to surrender voluntarily. Officials said in a statement that many people have outstanding bench warrants because they failed to appear for a court hearing or because they violated conditions of probation or parole.

Similar programs in 2007 and 2011 resulted in a total of about 1,000 people turning themselves in. Most went home the same day. Officials say the program's goal is to reduce the approximately 12,000 outstanding bench warrants the city has.

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