'Fugitive Safe Surrender' event targets 5,500 active warrants in Richland County

MANSFIELD, Ohio - A one-stop-shop fugitive surrender operation is being set up in Richland County to help resolve some of the county's 5,500 active warrants.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office coordinated a "Fugitive Safe Surrender" program for offenders in Richland County for Oct. 5 to Oct. 8. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Oasis of Love Church, located at 190 Chester Ave. in Mansfield.

Only people with warrants in Richland County are able to use this event to help clear their names. All branches of the legal system will be on-hand: local police, prosecutors, judges and the county bar association to provide public defenders.

Fugitive Safe Surrender is intended for misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenders.

"This is not an amnesty program. These people do have to take responsibility for their actions," said Jeff Oleksiak, the Fugitive Safe Surrender coordinator for the Ohio AG's office.

Oleksiak said there are no guarantees a person will not be arrested, but the hope is to resolve most cases at the church – and a person's voluntary action to surrender may be taken into consideration by the court. He said holding the event at a church makes it a more comfortable setting.

The AG's office plans to hold more of these events in other counties in the future.

Anyone wanting more information about the program is asked to call 1-877-647-8773.

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