Jersey City looking for volunteers to help with Nov. Safe Surrender Program
Oct 23, 2013 | 2173 views | 0 0 comments | 74 74 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JERSEY CITY – Volunteers from the city and all over New Jersey are needed for the “Safe Surrender” program, a state-sponsored initiative that offers thousands of individuals the opportunity to clear non-violent indictable or municipal warrants from their records. In most cases, people will receive face reduced penalties in exchange for turning themselves in.

The program will run from Wednesday, Nov. 6 through Saturday, Nov. 9.. During this period individuals can turn themselves in at St. Evangelimos Greek Orthodox Church, 661 Montgomery St. (across from the Jersey City Armory).

“We are pleased to partner with the state on this program that provides any individual with a warrant for a non-violent offense the opportunity to clear their record,” said Mayor Steven M. Fulop. “Many people just need a second chance to get back on a productive path and this program has been successful at doing that.”

Successful Safe Surrender programs have been held in Atlantic City, Camden, New Brunswick, and Newark, where a total of more than 13,000 non-violent offenders have been processed. On average, more than 99 percent of those who turn themselves in during the program are able to return home the same day.

Examples of warrants that will be processed include traffic violations, family matters, and child support warrants.

As many as 500 professional and lay volunteers are needed for a wide range of duties, including handling parking and food services, as well as serving as greeters and escorts, among other roles. Seventeen temporary courtrooms will be staged in the Armory and the N.J. Attorney General’s Office, which coordinates the program, will need assistance processing individuals. All volunteers will be asked to commit to one or more four-hour shifts each day: from 7 a.m. to noon; noon to 5 p.m.; or 5 to 9 p.m.

“We hope our residents will volunteer to help make this program a success here,” Fulop said.

In addition, the Office of the State Attorney General, in partnership with Jersey City, is soliciting service providers to assist with such needs as health screenings and employment services, and to interact with individuals while they wait to appear before a judge.

Potential volunteers should visit www.FSSNJ.com and click on “Volunteer to Help” tab near the upper left corner. Those who volunteer will be required to attend a training session. Times, dates, and locations of upcoming training sessions can also be found at www.FFSNJ.com.

“This is a unique chance for Jersey City residents and others to participate directly in making Jersey City a safer place,” said Public Safety Director James Shea. “In order to improve public safety throughout the city, we need strong partnerships between the public and our law enforcement community and this is the perfect opportunity to develop those relationships.”



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