DC Safe Surrender 2011 – An Interview with Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul Quander

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[Audio Begins]

Cedric Hendricks:  Hello, this is Cedric Hendricks and welcome to DC Public Safety.  Today we’ll be speaking with Mr. Paul Quander, the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice about DC Safe Surrender.  Welcome Mr. Quander.

Paul Quander:  Hello, how are you?

Cedric Hendricks:  Could you tell us what is DC Safe Surrender?

Paul Quander:  DC Safe Surrender is an opportunity where all of the law enforcement partners, local, federal, judicial, legislative, have come together to provide an opportunity for men and women who have misdemeanor warrants and low level warrants, to provide them with an opportunity to turn themselves in to reconnect with their community and their lives.  It’s an opportunity for people to come get correct so that they can move on with their lives.  It’s an opportunity so that they can come, so that we can get a lot of these old outstanding warrants resolved so that individuals can move on, so they can get jobs, so they can continue their career.  So it’s an opportunity to move forward.

Cedric Hendricks:  Now what is a public safety benefit for the individual and this community by allowing an opportunity for people to come in and self-surrender?

Paul Quander:  There is a significant overall public safety benefit.  The more people that come in voluntarily, the less law enforcement resources need to be expended to look for, to search for individuals.  The other thing is that it helps us to continue to connect with the community.  We want to be in the business of preventing crimes.  We want to be in the business of trying to reestablish our communities and making sure that they’re safe places to live.  A lot of the people that we’re targeting have turned their lives around.  They are no longer involved in any type of criminal conduct.  So they have gone the right path.  So now it’s time for them just to come on in, let us take care of these outstanding issues, let’s make it right and then let’s move forward.  So there’s a significant public safety implication here.

Cedric Hendricks:  Now DC Safe Surrender was first done back in 2007 and you were instrumental in making that happen here.  What were some of the achievements of that Safe Surrender and how are those inspiring you all to want to do this again?

Paul Quander:  Well, you know we often talk about working together as a government.  That was one of the most significant endeavors whereby every part of the criminal justice system, every component, was involved in fugitive safe surrender.  And it wasn’t just the criminaljustice agencies, but it was the community at large.  We had a religious partner, Bible Way Church and all the members of Bible Way that accepted this initiative.  They took it on as one of their projects for giving back to their community.  So it brought the criminal justice partners, it brought the religious community; it brought the community at large together and was located in a church and in a safe environment just as the environment of Superior Court will be for this event.  And it allowed us to reconnect with our community.  There are in excess of 500 men and women who came in and got their lives turned around.  When you think about 500, more than 500 individuals, that’s a significant number and some of them had outstanding warrants from the 60’s.  And that’s a long time to have something hanging over your head.  And a lot of these matters were resolved right then, right there.  So it was a resounding success.  It’s a great example of community partnering and community resolve to help everyone.  So that’s why we wanted to do it again.  We wanted to offer it so that anyone that is out there that has this type of low level misdemeanor, non-violent offense, can turn themselves in in a safe environment and will receive favorable consideration to get the matter resolved.

Cedric Hendricks:  Now why should people get favorable consideration?  That certainly is a hallmark of Safe Surrender.  Why is that something you can get through this door and not otherwise?

Paul Quander:  The main reason is because of their own volition, their own will, the fact that they have decided themselves that they want to come in and have these matters addressed.  It’s quid pro quo.  They get something, law enforcement and public safety receives something.  And the community wins as a whole.  So if they can come in, get these matters resolved, then it’s law resources that need to be expended from the police, from the prosecutors, from probation and parole, right on down the line.  So the earlier we can get matters resolved, the better it is for everyone that is concerned.

Cedric Hendricks:  And finally, when will DC Safe Surrender be taking place?   August 13th,

Paul Quander:  I know there are three successive

Cedric Hendricks:  20th and 27th.

Paul Quander:  Right, there are three successive Saturdays that we want to open this up at Superior Court, 500 Indiana Avenue.  And we’re asking men and women to come in.  And we’re also asking for family members to come in and to support them.  This is an event for the community so if you have a grandson, if you have a nephew, if you have a niece, if you have a daughter, and they have an outstanding warrant, come down with them.  It’s open to the public.  It’s open for family members.  And we want to get as many people to come in and to participate with us in August so that we can have a safe summer and so that beginning with the new school year, people will be free of anything that’s heading over their heads.

Cedric Hendricks:  We’ve been talking with Mr. Paul Quander, the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice.  He’s been briefing us on DC Safe Surrender.  Thank you very much Mr. Quander.

Paul Quander:  Thank you for the opportunity.

[Audio Ends]

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First Person to Surrender During Fugitive Safe Surrender: Follow-up Interview

See http://media.csosa.gov for “DC Public Safety” radio and television shows.
See www.csosa.gov for the web site of the federal Court Services and Offender Services Agency.
See http://media.csosa.gov/blog for the “DC Public safety” blog.

This Radio Program is available at http://media.csosa.gov/podcast/audio/?p=75

See www.dcsafesurrender.org for information on Safe Surrender in Washington, D.C.

[Recording Begins]

Len Sipes: Hi and welcome to Fugitive Safe Surrender, my name is Len Sipes from the Federal Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency. I am here talking with Mr. Willie Jones. Mr. Jones was the first person who surrendered at the Fugitive Safe Surrender program here in Washington D.C. at the Bible Way Church at New York and New Jersey Avenue. First of all Mr. Jones, tell me why you came in today.

Willie Jones: Because I had an outstanding warrant.

Len Sipes: And what was the warrant for.

Willie Jones: Distribution of heroin.

Len Sipes: And you told me earlier that you were out on this warrant for approximately a year.

Willie Jones: Yes sir.

Len Sipes: And what happened on that year’s time.

Willie Jones: I was looking over my shoulder. I was very uncomfortable. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t do anything I wanted to do. I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t drive my car. I was just stagernating.

Len Sipes: So you were always concerned, needless to say, that you would be picked up.

Willie Jones: Yes sir.

Len Sipes: Now, what happened today? So you came into Fugitive Safe Surrender. You were the first in line. You came in with family members?

Willie Jones: Yes I did. I came in with my sister, my brother, and my girlfriend.

Len Sipes: Now, what we’ve found out in other Fugitive Safe Surrender cities is that it’s often time a family affair, it’s a family decision. Did you all make this decision collectively, together?

Willie Jones: Yes we did.

Len Sipes: And what, tell me a little bit about the process.

Willie Jones: When I came in the door Bible Way staff greeted me; then we went downstairs to a sitting area; they filled out some paperwork; then I met with an attorney. I talked with her for a few minutes; then we met with the Chief Judge in Washington D.C. He gave me personal bonds, got rid of the warrant and I’m back in the street and I don’t have to look over my shoulders now.

Len Sipes: And how does that make you feel?

Willie Jones: It make me feel real, real good. Only by the grace of God, I keep him first. First in my life and prayer.

Len Sipes: Now, what would you tell everybody who is going to be listening to this today, both media and people who are going to be hearing this who are considering participating in Fugitive Safe Surrender. What would you tell them?

Willie Jones: That this is a very, very good program and anything that’s going on in the house of the Lord, you can trust it, walk on in. Anybody that know me, my name is Willie Clayton Jones, some people call me Squid. Anybody that know me, that know that I’m here, this is a very good program.

Len Sipes: Because a lot of people are going to be skeptical about coming in. A lot of people are going to be skeptical, a little bit disbelieving until they hear solid evidence from people like yourself.

Willie Jones: Yeah, well they can take it from me, like I said, my name is Willie Jones, some people call me Squid. This is a very good program, it’s a safe program. You have nothing to worry about unless you have a violent crime like armed robbery, kidnap, sexual to kids, something to that nature. If you just have something that’s a misdemeanor you’ll walk in and walk right out. I’ve only been in here like 40 minutes before my process was taken care of.

Len Sipes: Okay, anything else you want to add?

Willie Jones: I’d just like to say thanks for the Safe Surrender program, whoever started it, and also I’d like to say thanks for my family but let me put God first, without Him I can’t do anything. So I’d just like to say thanks and thanks for the interview and thank you too sir.

Len Sipes: Willie Jones I thank you very much too sir. Have yourself a pleasant day.

Willie Jones: You too.

[Recording Ends]

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DC Fugitive Safe Surrender Press Conference

This Radio Program is available at http://media.csosa.gov/podcast/audio/?p=57

See http://media.csosa.gov for “DC Public Safety” radio and television shows.
See www.csosa.gov for the web site of the federal Court Services and Offender Services Agency.
See http://media.csosa.gov/blog for the “DC Public safety” blog.

(Audio beings)

Paul Quander: There is this great program that they’ve run in Cleveland whereby they were able to ask the community and the church to come together in an effort and that effort was to invite men and women who were on fugitive status to come into the church to surrender to a man of God in his house. And what that meant was that you didn’t have law enforcement officers going out knocking on peoples doors. You didn’t have people running and chasing. You had people of their own volition coming in and the one constant was the church. Safe refuge. So, when Marshall Conboy brought that to us, we decided as a group that we wanted to do that and on November the 1st and the 3rd, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’re going to invite citizens of the District of Columbia, those individuals who have outstanding warrants for nonviolent felony, misdemeanor and traffic offenses to turn themselves in. Not to the police station, not to superior court, not to my office, but right here, in this church, in this building, in this place of God and we’re hoping that if they do that, they will get a second chance at life. It’s the first step towards a new beginning and a second chance. We’ve come together as a community and one of the things that we wanted to do was to reach out and so I’m going to ask at this time, if Tim Barnes can play for you a public service announcement that the church has undertaken in support of this effort with us and then I’m going to invite Apostle James Silver, the pastor of Bible Way to come forward.

TV PSA: Are you running from the law? If so, you will soon have an opportunity to start anew. I’m Apostle James Silver of the Bible Way Church and from November the 1st through the 3rd, we will open our church to nonviolent offenders. Surrender in safety at our church. Talk to your lawyer and judge and you will receive favorable consideration for your surrender. For more information, you may call 202-585-SAFE.

Paul Quander: Let me introduce to you, Apostle James Silver.

James Silver: Thank you very much. Praise the Lord everybody everywhere. I’m so happy to be here today to greet you in the name of the Lord. All of you who are assembled on this great occasion today, we thank God for the opportunity to be able to host Fugitive Safe Surrender. To those of you who don’t know me, I’m Apostle James Silver, the pastor of the church and I’m proud to have been pastor here, being pastor here 16 years. I’ve been in this church 50 years, so we are very grateful to the Lord for what he is doing. Now my task today is to tell you why we accepted this challenge. Brother Lavelle Jenkins came to my office one day and he told me about it. I don’t think I had previously heard about it and right away as he finished talking the Lord said to me, go for the gold. This is a great even here in Bible Way and we are happy to host it in the name of the Lord. Now, Bible Way is people helping people and one person who was going to climb a mountain was asked why and they said because it’s there and we’ve accepted this challenge because this is a part of Bible Way ministry and many of you perhaps don’t know it so I’ll apprise you of the fact that we have been involved for many years now in prison and drug ministry. We have people in our congregation who have been delivered from drugs as a result of our ministry and we at Bible Way, this is not an inhouse thing. We go from here out into the various areas of the community to help people who are in distress and whatever distress they are in. Now our ministry in Bible Way in regards to prison ministry goes beyond the boundaries of Bible Way, the District of Columbia, Maryland. We go to Ohio and all around down North Carolina and different places and the institutions in the nearby areas of the District to provide that degree of spiritual support to those persons who are in need so we invite you to come to Bible Way. Whoever you are. Wherever you are. If you have a warrant against you in the District of Columbia, we want to provide the facilities here at Bible Way for you to come and voluntarily turn yourself in and we will have people here from our assembly who will be able to pray for you and not only that but after, after this is over, we will be able to minister to you and help you anyway we can. Now, the late Bishop Smallwood Williams left on a regular great legacy of community helps and helps meaning in various areas of life so he’s gone on to be with the Lord and here we are. We’ve picked up the banner and we are moving forward with great dispatch trying to help people in our community and the outlying areas in whatever area of life they find themselves. Now you need to understand that you can come in here, walk freely in, and present yourself to the judges. You’ll be able to talk with judges and with the attorneys and we will be here as a community effort to help you and to give you great comfort. Now you can come in to our facility anytime in November the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd from 9 until 5 and we will be here to greet you. We will provide facilities that will make you comfortable while you’re waiting for your name to be called. So as we go farther with this program, Amen, we’re happy that we’re able to host it. In terms of space that we have and we’re happy to provide this space and we’re happy to host it in terms of what the ongoing commitment for the church will be. We’ll be able to reach out into the communities after this is over and we can go into the homes and we can pray for people and we can tell people that serving the Lord will pay off after a while. Now I think my time is just about up but I’m happy to have had this opportunity and I’m grateful to the Lord that as pastor of Bible Way, that we can host this great event. Now let me give you a phone number that will help you. The phone number is 202-585-SAFE or 202-585-7233 and you will get all the information you need. So, I’ll be around here everyday keeping my eyes on you when you come in and we’ll have people here who will pray for you even before you go in that your case may be heard. In the name of the Lord, again I am pastor of Bible Way Church. Let me give you our address. We’re at 1100 New Jersey Avenue and we’re right in the heart of the nations capital with the welfare of you and yours in our hearts. God bless you. I bid you peace.

Paul Quander: Thank you Apostle. At this time, it’s my pleasure to bring forth and ask to come to the lectern Steve Conboy who is the United States Marshall here in the District of Columbia for Superior Court. Steve is the individual that brought this initiative to us and has been a true partner in every sense of the work. He’s worked very hard. This is his baby. Marshall Conboy, please come forward.

Marshall Conboy: Thank you Paul. Good morning and thank you for welcoming us here today. The message truly comes in many different forms and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, Apostle Silver, for welcoming us here. As Paul had mentioned, I took it to a trusted source. Both Paul and Nancy Ware are both partners in the criminal justice coordinating committee and they welcome this fully and I know that we have a lot of thanks to Lavalle Jenkins for bringing that to you. Apostle Silver, I appreciate that. The genesis for this program was the result of really 3 people. A reverend, a prosecutor, and a police officer in Cleveland, Ohio and since that time, we have taken that to over six cities. More than 6,000 offenders have voluntarily turned themselves in. We’ve been in Cleveland, Phoenix, Indiana, Indianapolis, Akron, Nashville, and Memphis and we’re very much looking forward to this operation here. This is a way to extend the olive branch to foster trust in the community and ask folks to do the right thing. Come on in. It doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t have to be dangerous. The partnerships that exist here, the work that has gone into this. This has been a 2 year journey and the amount of work that has gone on behind the scenes has been truly incredible and it would not be possible if it were not for the work of this gentlemen seated right beside me, Paul Quander. Apostle, you’ve been anointed to take care of your flock, your community, and Paul has been appointed by the president to attend to this community and I know the hard work that he delivers these programs day in and day out here so you have caring people here and I especially want to thank the honorable Chief Judge Rufus G. King III, he has been fully supportive of this program. All the partners of the table had to agree to this before we got this far. This has been a consortium of a very unified effort. I would like to pay particular attention to the soldiers behind the scenes that have really toiled day in and day out and they’re not the people seated up here right now. If I could have just for a moment please, if you could come up and join me here. Theresa Howy, Cliff Keenan, Mike Kanu, Dan Zipulo, Quinzi Booth, Beverly Hill, Len Sipes, Tim Barnes, and Lavell would you please join us as well too. These are the men and women who have poured hundreds of hours behind the scenes planning this. This has been quit a journey. As I’ve been saying from day one, this ain’t Cleveland and this has been different from every city that we’ve attended. It has taken a lot of work to get to this point and we’re very very excited to put this operation on. If I could ask Nancy Ware, the Director of the CJCC to join me up here please and our other partner on the CJCC, Mr. Devon Brown. We simply could not do this without everyone that you see assembled up here but more importantly is that we could not do this without you. We are asking you to take that message out to the community and ask your brothers and sisters out here to please, here is a chance to come in and get this thing, this thing that is behind you, is come in here and peacefully resolve this issue and again I would very much like to appreciate your opening up your doors here Apostle and Paul thank you very much. Without Paul’s leadership here, you would not see the fruits of the efforts coming in place here especially with this staff. It’s been absolutely great. Thank you very much.

Paul Quander: Thank you Marshall. There is an old African proverb that says, it takes a village to raise a child and when you have an initiative like this, it takes more than just one agency. As the Marshall indicated, a number of agencies came together. There is approximately 20 thousand square feet of space in this church that we’re going to use on November the 1st through the 3rd and we want to use every bit of that space and we want to invite every person that has that outstanding warrant, that nonviolent warrant to turn themselves in, but to make this work, it’s been a journey of partners from the United States Marshalls Service to the U.S. Attorneys Office, the Office of the Attorney General, the Public Defenders Service, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Metropolitan Police Department, the Department of Corrections, the Pretrial Services Agency, the Court Services and Defender Supervision Agency and the United States Parole Commission. It’s my pleasure at this time to ask one of our partners. I like to refer to him as the big partner because he’s the chief judge and I’ve had the opportunity to appear before the chief judge as a practicing attorney but chief judge Rufus King, would you please join us as director please. Thank you.

Rufus King: Thank you Paul. I didn’t take that last comment to indicate that you were surrendering. This is a very special occasion and I to want to join in the deep gratitude that all of us at the Criminal Justice Coordinating Counsel have for Apostle James Silver’s generosity and hospitality in making this possible by offering these great facilities in the community to bring this to fruition. I also would like to thank Steve Convoy who really was the spark plug that got this all started and he’s followed through with the initiative to bring everybody together and keep people going and of course it could not have gone anywhere without the exemplary leadership that Paul Quander has shown in not only reaching out to all of the people who have to be involved in this effort but also leading both by cajoling and by example. He’s put in countless hours as have those who you were introduced to just a moment ago. From the courts perspective, we’re really the, although we are the, one of the heavy partners in the criminal justice systems in the city, we are the light partner in this because we’re simply providing the judges who will hear the cases when they come in and what’s really different about this is it’s being done in the community where the level of mistrust and suspicion among those who we are hoping to reach out to can maybe be dropped down a little bit. Maybe they can begin to trust that not all persons in authority are always wrong. Maybe there’s a way they can reconcile with the community. Now there’s a bumper sticker that always caught my attention that says, if you want peace work for justice. What the courts do is to provide the fair and effective administration of justice in the hope that that will provide a peaceful forum for resolving disputes in the community and so get us to a place where there’s more peace in the community. This is a splendid opportunity for that to occur for people who have been at odds with the community to come in and deal with something that has been difficult for them, that has been difficult for us because they’ve been out of step, they’ve been invisible to us, and this is a chance to start on a road to fixing that in an environment where there will be more trust, more chance of really coming together with the community and with the church in whatever form that may take. So I want to thank everyone involved for the huge amount of effort that’s been involved and just say that we are looking forward to the opportunity to conduct our business here in the community to take care of the cases involving nonviolent offenders who want to come in. This is not an amnesty program. This is real. It will be real justice that gets administered here but there is always and will be here especially favorable consideration given to the fact that the person has come in and made the first step to say I’m here and I want to deal with this. We will recognize that so thank you and I’m looking forward to a very successful and constructive few days.

Paul Quander: It’s my pleasure now to invite another partner who’s been with us from the inception, Devon Brown who is the Director of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections to come forth.

Devon Brown: Good morning. The District of Columbia Department of Corrections is quite honored and pleased to join our criminal justice partners in the implementation of this wonderful program. But this program is not about us. Although the leaders of the program are here before you today, we all know that this program is about you, our community. Justice is best served when people of the community join with the government to insure that fairness is rendered and so it has been with that recognition that we came together to implement this program. I want to thank the pastor of this wonderful, wonderful place. A place of long history and deep respect in our community and throughout this great nation. Pastor Silver, your house like all houses of worship is a place of deliverance. We know that best. The role that the church has played in advancement of civilization and the advancement of our society. We also know full well, that sometimes a stumble prevents a fall and that all of us as part of this human society has stumbled as we have learned to walk and run. We cry out for those that have stumbled to come forward to prevent a fall. The Department of Corrections plays a minor role in this undertaking but yet a necessary role. We are hopeful that our services will not be necessary, that justice will rein and that those who come in this house, in this house, will see Gods work as well as the work of the criminal justice system in the name of fairness. I want to thank all of you.

Paul Quander: As Director Brown indicated, this is an effort not just amongst the law enforcement community but the community at large and this is an effort not only by law enforcement but by the community at large. At this time, what I would like to do is play a public service announcement that features a member of the community and then I’m going to ask for that individual, Mr. Alfred Williams to join us at the lectern.

Radio PSA: It’s kind of embarrassing to have the authorities come and bang on your door at 4:00 o’clock, 3 o’clock in the morning because they have a warrant to serve, to pick up one of your sons. I’m not in this by myself. There are a lot of families going through what I’m going through right now. You know, this running and hiding and ducking is not living. Turn yourself in. Do the right thing. And I always used to sing it because I have a junior and this is who I’m really trying to call out to. Yeah, it’s a constant worry. You worry and you try to hide it, but when you sleep at night, it’s in the back part of your mind. I love my sons to death. It’s all I have. My sons and my wife, that’s my family. We all make mistakes. Correct your mistakes and when you make it right, you feel better about yourself.

Paul Quander: This is a human call and this is personal and it’s not about numbers, it’s about lives. At this time, I would like to invite Mr. Alfred Williams down. Mr. Williams.

Alfred Williams: Good morning. It’s kind of tough. I’ve been going through this for a long while. I have 3 sons involved. I’ve got 2 half straight now. My oldest son, they just picked him up last week so I don’t have to worry about him. A warrant or anything on him, they have him now so I hope he gets the help that he needs because he has a serious drug problem. This crack cocaine is vicious. Not alone this dipper these young people are using making them act like they act, but I think this treatment thing is the best thing because I know for a fact, the doors will shut in my sons face when they try to do straight to want to get a job, but because of their records, the door is shut. I bet this program could help them with their addiction and their pretty smart guys so it should be no problem but help them with the training, to get a job, and turn their life around and I don’t like to say to be a productive citizen. I would say do the right thing and help your family and yourself by being something positive and your children, your mother, your father, your cousins, your families because those kids watch what you do and I think that’s why I have to watch what I do. I don’t want to tell my sons, don’t you do this, if they see their father doing it. So, to say this to say that, I think I’ve been pretty good. Maybe not the best, but I’ve been more of a positive role to my sons than a negative one and like I said, I’m not a rich man and that’s all I have is my sons. I have all sons, no daughters, I’ve got grand-daughters and my oldest son is the one I really want to try to be a little better than what he is because he’s my children, he’s my first and I expect a little more out of him than I do the others and I just hope that this 8 to 12 months, whatever year, that he gets the drug treatment and the spiritual guidance that he needs in this program. Maybe I’ll have a new guy, new dude come out of that block when he comes out of that cell and I’m looking forward to this program to try to do and that’s to encourage anybody, anybody who will listen and listen to the commercial. Turn yourself in and do it now and get your life in a positive manner and I thank everybody.

Paul Quander: As Mr. Williams indicated substance abuse and employment are 2 major issues that factor into the lives of the individuals that we deal with. This program November 1st through the 3rd will have present in the church here representatives from Apra which is the District of Columbia’s drug treatment program. They will be on board here, physically located throughout. Also during the surrender period, the Department of Employment Services will be present here. Either they will have their van out front or they’ll be downstairs in the basement with us so that people who are turning themselves in can have access to these services right here and to sign up for the services. At this time, I’m going to invite Keith Campbell to come forward. You’ve heard from the law enforcement officials. You’ve heard from the father of an individual who was out on warrant status. Now, we want to speak directly to individuals who have been there. Who know what it’s like to have to look over their shoulder day in and day out. I’m going to ask Keith Campbell to come forward who is an individual who knows what it’s like to turn and look over their shoulders because there’s an outstanding warrant for them. Mr. Campbell.

Keith Campbell: Good morning. Yes, I was a fugitive and as Mr. Quander just said, there is nothing worse than having to look over your shoulder everywhere you go. You know you can’t get a job, you can’t do anything productive, nothing whatsoever, and you know the really crazy thing about it is that you’re still in the community and there are police all around you anyway so your just ducking and dodging all the time and I think that say for 70% of us offenders, the 2 major issues are substance abuse and just the court belief that I’m not going to turn myself in so I mean I was sitting here listening to the pastor and I was thinking what better mediator for me to turn myself in than the church. Back to the first point, 2 things usually happen, I’ve seen it time and time again when fugitives stay out. Number 1 you either get tired or number 2 you either get desperate and when you get tired, I got tired, you turn yourself in more than likely but when you get desperate, you put your community, the family, the law enforcement, everybody is at risk once the fella is desperate. This is a good place. I was sitting in the back and I saw the ladies of the church coming in and I was almost comparing this to turning myself in to my grandmother sitting here in a church so you can’t beat it. Thank you.

Paul Quander: Like Mr. Campbell I would like to now invite Lawrence Burley to come forth and to talk about this program and what it means and what his experience has been. Mr. Burley.

Lawrence Burley: Good morning. I would just like to thank my distinct Creator for allowing me to be here this morning and maybe give something back to the community. We need to give something back to the community that I kind of took a lot from. My involvement with the criminal justice system goes back to when I was maybe 14 years old and I don’t remember not being under some kind of supervision. I’m 54 years old now. Came off parole in 2004 and that kind of pretty much tells you somewhat about warrant issues. Living a life on the lamb as we call it in the streets, is not a pretty thing because you can’t really move on with your life and even if you do it’s not a matter of if, it’s when you’re going to have pay to the piper, it’s just that simple and can you imagine doing some things and kind of getting your life back on track if that happens for you and you have to be able to go look for a job and stuff like that. If you allow for these things to happen and while you’re out there. I know it could never happen for me because of as most people can attest to that have spoken this morning, my substance abuse issues had a lot, a whole lot to do with my involvement in the criminal justice system and it kind of magnified 10 fold. So I would always be involved and not doing what I needed to do and then when I went in subsequently, I never addressed my substance abuse issues after they asking me why I was in prison but I never did anything other than be abstinent and so when I came back out in the community, subsequently, I did the same thing over again and once I got involved and back into that kind of behavior again, the same process started to take place again. So, I would encourage anybody that has a warrant today. A lot of times, it’s been a lot of times people escalate some things that might not have occurred. You know if this program might’ve been in place during, my criminal life got kind of escalated while I was out doing petty crimes and more violent crimes and stuff like that. Things might not have evolved had I been able to come in and surrender at an early age and have some of these issues of mine addressed. So I would encourage anybody to, you’ll only have to do it once to come in and make an attempt, at least make an attempt to turn your life around because it’s not anybody fault about the way my life turned out. It was the bad choices and decisions I made at a very early age. So I don’t want to blame anybody or fault. As a matter of fact these people should be commended for what their doing and their efforts to bring in everybody that’s fallen including myself, to help the community out and get some of the people to get on track with their lives. Thank you.

Paul Quander: We’ve had an opportunity to show you two of the public service announcements that were prepared for television. At this time, now I would like to play for you two PSA’s that we have prepared for radio and at the conclusion of the broadcast of these PSA’s we’re going to open up the floor for questions for members of the panel up front, the other individuals who have spoken from the community as well.

Radio PSA

Male Voice: Do you know someone wanted for a nonviolent felony or misdemeanor and looking for a way out?

Female Voice: My son’s been hiding for months. We want him to turn himself in but he’s too scared.

Male Voice: Well now there’s an opportunity for him to turn his life around.

Female Voice: Sounds to good to be true.

Male Voice: There’s a 3 day program in D.C. called Fugitive Safe Surrender that will allow nonviolent felons and those wanted for misdemeanors to voluntarily surrender to the law in a faith based neutral setting.

Female: You mean he can turn himself in at a church.

Male: It’s a safe place where you’ll be treated fairly and receive favorable consideration. This program will be held at the Bible Way Church, 1100 New Jersey Avenue NW, November 1st, 2nd, and 3rd between 9 and 5. Call 202-585-SAFE or visit dcsafesurrender.org.

Female: My son just wants to start over.

Male: Then he needs to do the right thing, right now. It’s the first step towards a second chance. Brought to you by the D.C. Justice System and this station.

PSA

Male Voice: If you are wanted for a nonviolent felony or misdemeanor, there’s a 3 day program in D.C. that will allow you to voluntarily surrender to the law in a safe place where you’ll be treated fairly and receive favorable consideration. Just go to the Bible Way Church 1100 New Jersey Avenue NW, November 1st, 2nd, and 3rd between 9 and 5. For more information call 202-585-SAFE or visit dcsafesurrender.org. Do the right thing, right now. Brought to you by the D.C. Justice System and this station.

Paul Quander: Do the right thing, right now. We would like to take any questions that you may have if for the Superior Court, law enforcement partners or members of the community that are assisting us with this initiative. The question was what crimes are we accepting, individuals and which offenses are we not? The hallmark of this program are nonviolent offenses. They could be felony offenses that are nonviolent, misdemeanor offenses, and traffic offenses. We have put together a complete list of violent offenses on our website which is at dcsafesurrender.org under the frequently asked questions and by statue those offenses are identified. So, if I can direct your attention to that website, it will have the listing of the violent offenses that will not be a part of the main initiative but what we have found in Cleveland and in other jurisdictions is that individuals, even that have these non qualifying offenses, they turn themselves in because they are tired of the wait. The other thing is that they will still be given favorable consideration for turning themselves in, but this is targeted for that nonviolent offender because most of the individuals that will come in that fit that qualification, will walk out the same day with either the case resolved or a new trial date or a new probation date so it’s a way to get started again but we want to welcome everyone that has an outstanding warrant into the church to turn themselves in. I believe the question is, is this just for the District. Yes. It is only for those individuals that have outstanding warrants that we’re issued from the superior court of the District of Columbia or the U.S. Parole Commission so those individuals who are on probation or parole can participate but individuals who have outstanding warrants from our neighboring jurisdictions, Prince Georges and Fairfax, no, this is unique for warrants that are issued out on the District of Columbia. I think I got the essence of the question. The question was whether or not this initiative is for the entire District of Columbia or essentially Ward 6. This is an effort for the entire citizenry of the District of Columbia. We are making an effort to reach out to everyone in the district. All of the Wards, every quadrant of the city. This is the central location. One of the great things about this church is not only a strong heritage and commitment to the community but it’s a great location. Right at New York and New Jersey Avenue, so we’re hoping to get everyone in and we’ve reached out to all quadrants of the city to invite people wherever they are in the city to come and to participate on November 1st through the 3rd right here at Bible Way. This is the only site for those days only, yes.

Male Voice: What happens after the first, second, and third if someone wants to surrender, what would be done then?

Paul Quander: Well we would direct them down to the pretrial services agency which is located at 633 Indiana Avenue. That is the location where people, ordinarily everyday people would turn themselves in, and they use the services of one of our partner agencies pretrial services to do that and normally what happens is a person would come into the pretrial services agency. The agency would get the requisite information and then the agency, members of that staff, will actually walk that person over to Superior Court and have the matter resolved so if there is anyone that comes in after the end of the Fugitive Safe Surrender period, that they should turn themselves into the Pretrial Services agency that’s located at 633 Indiana Avenue NW.

Female Voice: One of the main appeals to the program is that you will receive very good treatment if you turn yourself in however, [inaudible] is that if you could receive very good treatment and after that [inaudible] a number of my cases [inaudible]
Paul Quander: One of the issues that we are working with is, we don’t know what is going to come in and we don’t know what history an individual has and this is a partnership to protect the community and so what we need to do is to get that individual in so that we can assess exactly what that person’s status is. There are no guarantees. This is not an amnesty program at all but one of the things that we have done is, we are using technologies. One of the technologies that is available is a GPS, a global positioning satellite tracking system. Some individuals who may come in the court or the United States Parole Commission may be somewhat leery so what we have decided to do is to make the GPS tracking systems available so that the court may say, I’m going to release you but with this condition and that way we know where you are. We know where we can go. We going to set another date so we’re trying to do things so that we can make sure that people know that this is a very good opportunity and that we’re going to be as creative as we possibly can to give favorable consideration without any guarantees because there’s no guarantee whether or not you go to court today, whether or not you’re going to come out but the thing that we will say is you will get favorable consideration and that it will be evaluated and if history is any testament in the other sites in which this has taken place, more than 90% of the individuals who have come in, turned themselves in, have walked out the door at the conclusion of the day. Yes sir.

Male Voice: Good morning.

Paul Quander: Good morning.

Male Voice: What type of services have your programs [inaudible]. How can you take [inaudible] and this may sound poor for the community does this step up the community partners program.

Paul Quander: As far as continuing the programs, one of the things that I’m most interested in as the Director of Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency is that I have a number of individuals who are on probation and parole and I have a number of services that we can provide to those individuals if they come back into the system. We do have drug treatment, we do have education, we do have job development programs. We have a number of programs that are available if we can get people to come off of the streets and to get back into the programing. I mentioned that Apra which is the drug treatment program for the District of Columbia and the Department of Employment Services will be present and participating. These agencies aren’t going away. This is what they do and they’ve been working with us so they will continue to be available. As far as any federal grants and things of that nature, that is something that is beyond the scope of this initiative but we may be able to get some information to you at a subsequent event or you can leave me your contact information and I can have a staff member to get back to you on the possibility of federal grants but I’m just not prepared at this time to speak intelligently on that. Yes, please.

Female Voice: I was just wandering about your communications [inaudible] come today because the public service announcements are brief by nature. Obviously there’s a lot of questions people will have. Are you passing flyers in the areas where the message is going to get to or are you going to go on the radio and interview [inaudible]? How are you going to get the full message to [inaudible] to spread out amongst those that truly might have personal concerns [inaudible].

Paul Quander: You’ve mentioned a couple of the areas. There is a campaign that has already been underway to provide flyers to may members of the community. For the past two Saturdays, staff members and individuals who are performing community service have been distributing flyers throughout the city. They’ve started at various metro stops and have moved out into the community. This past week, we concentrated on the areas in ward 7 and 8 along Southern Avenue, Eastern Avenue, Dean Wood and in that area. This week, there will be another effort to get the flyers out to the community. Our goal is to have a flyer in every beauty shop and barber shop in the District of Columbia. The other thing is, we will be going out and, that’s why I’m thankful that a number of the radio stations are here this morning, so that we can get the message out through talk programs and public service announcements. We are looking forward to speaking with and being interviewed on these programs. Deputy Marshall Bernard Graham did an announcement on Friday, an interview. So, we’re looking to do more and more of this. We’re going to be very busy as we go forward. One of the concerns that I had is that we have this great party planned and no one is going to take advantage of it and so I’m asking all of you to make sure that the word gets out, that we’re going to be here, that there is a great event and we need you to come in because we want you to take advantage of it because we want men and women who are on warrant status to come on in. Get out of the cold because we have programs.

Male Voice: I was just wandering [inaudible] program and maybe nobody else is concerned about this but I was just wandering at what ages are we expecting? Are we expecting the young, the middle-age, or senior citizens that meaning something happened a long time ago and they decided to come in. Are you expecting senior citizens to turn themselves in?

Paul Quander: Actually, yes. Let me give you an example. Last week, we had an individual who was wanted on a case that a warrant was issued in the early 1980s for theft of something from an automobile. That individual was riding in the District of Columbia and got stopped last week. He was arrested. He had that outstanding warrant from 1980. He had that warrant so he came in, the warrant was taken care of but he’s on with his life. So, there are individuals out there who have long standing warrants. They may have forgotten about it and we want to remind them. Come on in and take advantage of this. There will be no juveniles here so there will be only adults that will be coming in but it’s open to everyone and one of the good things about Bible Way, we have an elevator so we have handicap accessibility. It is just great. The other good thing about Bible Way is we couldn’t do this program just with the staff that we had, so Bible Way and some of the other churches will be sending volunteers and that volunteer is going to be the first face that that offender sees. As one of the young men said is that when he came in and he saw some of the members of the church, it reminded if of grandma, that’s what we want. We want people to have that same feeling. That same sense of comfort in doing the right thing as they come forward.

Female Voice: Do you [inaudible] that the number of people that will come maybe some that same day [inaudible] will certainly come. My question to you is what happens like I said, I believe that part of the problem in the number of people and why they’re “on the lamb” and why they’re running around. What types as they go for a jobs and [inaudible] housing and jobs? They can’t get jobs, they can’t afford to pay for housing. I understand there’s a reentry program [inaudible] basically a re-entry program. [inaudible] They’re stranded. There is no housing for them. There’s no food. First thing people tell me [inaudible]. So what do they do? Do you have services [inaudible]? Do you have something so that those kind of people [inaudible] if they come back to the system, hello. You don’t want them back in the system. However if they do come back to the system again [inaudible]. What’s available now. What do you have to help these individuals? In addition to loans, there are thousands [inaudible]. Legislation passed. [inaudible] of utmost interest to me [inaudible].

Paul Quander: Very good question. The issues that you articulated are issues that we confront everyday in this line of work. When you’re talking about social services, when you’re talking about housing, when you’re talking about employment, when you’re talking about jobs skills development, when you’re talking about how does an individual make that transition. These are the issues that I deal with and my agency and the men and women that do this work do everyday. I can speak about my agency and what we have. We’re fortunate in the sense that I have some additional resources that we were able to set aside for this program so I have some resources and it’s not unlimited. It’s quite the opposite. It’s very limited but we wanted to make sure that if we had individuals who were willing to take that first step, that there could be some support for them. I have a small amount of transitional housing that is available. Small amount. There are not many agencies in the district that have that, but I have that now. Again, it’s a small number. We have to continue to work on some of these problems with housing, with some of the other agencies. This program isn’t designed to tackle all of those. It’s a first step but once we get the person back into the system, we can work with it. There is one thing that I can guarantee you. As long as that person stays out in warrant status, there is nothing positive that is going to happen. First step, bring them in, let’s get right here and then we can tackle some of those issues that need tackled. The people here know this is just more than just a one shot program. We want to get people back in so we can get them the services that they need. I thank you for your question. I really do appreciate that. Are there any other questions? Yes ma’am.

Female Voice: [inaudible]. How do you get the message out to [inaudible] and if they [inaudible] closed caption. Also if the person who has a disability wants to turn themselves in do you have [inaudible] interpreters available for them [inaudible]?

Paul Quander: Yes thank you for your question. The exactly same services that are available every day at Superior Court for the hearing impaired will be available here at Bible Way. Any service that is provided at Superior Court will be provided here. I didn’t mention this but the same for translation for Spanish. We have flyers that are in Spanish. They’re actually radio advertisement that is in Spanish and so there will be Spanish interpreters that will be available in the court room and for communication with the defense attorneys that will be available. The Public Offenders Service will bring it’s own interpreters that will provide assistance to the Spanish speaking public so for the hearing impaired and Spanish and any other translative services, we’re going to use the resources of the Superior Court that has been mapped out already. Thank you for your question.

Male Voice: Good morning. If this proves to be successful, could there be another opportunity. Will this be an ongoing thing [inaudible]?

Paul Quander: Let me try to answer it this way. There are other cities that are scheduled to do Fugitive Safe Surrender after Washington, D.C. Being a native Washingtonian, we want to show them the right way to do it so we want to get as many people in as we possibly can. If this proves successful, depending on how many people we get in, with the services that we can provide and if we’re having that impact and if the church is willing and if God is smiling on us, I see no reason why we can’t do it again.

Female Voice: [inaudible] I wasn’t actually an offender. [inaudible] and then when it comes time [inaudible]. Heaven, that God will open the door. [inaudible]. I have my own place. [inaudible]

Paul Quander: Let me just before we close out, I’ll say a special thanks again to the United States Marshall Service for initiating this program and bringing it here to the District of Columbia. It’s a program that I think will benefit our community as a whole. I am really happy to see so many people where as well and Apostle Silver, again, we couldn’t do it without you and the church family so thank you very much and thank you to the Bible Way family. Thank you all very much. Have a good day and thank you very much for coming out.

James Silver: I appreciate the fact that many people, all of you rather have come to this press conference today. The point I want to make is this, this ministry will not end on the 3rd, the benediction will not be given because those persons who come in and voluntarily turn themselves in then we will go into the spiritual aspect of their lives and we’re going to chase them down with foxes and hounds and we’re going to help them to build a spiritual base in their life and this is why they got in trouble in the first place. The Bible says any man be in Christ, he’s a new creature, old things are passed away and we’re going to get their names when they come in. If they want us to visit their home and pray, they can come in our church and we’re going to begin to work with them, but another part I want to make is these old persons who are in trouble with drugs, they’ve got to be a major break, they’re going to have to work hard. They probably didn’t work that hard to get in, but they’re going to work hard to get out. They’re going to put forth some effort. Their delivery completely is not going to come over night. We don’t have any magic wand process, but what we can tell people is that Jesus Christ will help them and give them a new life. You want your life turn around you better get involved with Jesus because he’s the man with the plan. Thank you.

(End of audio)

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Partnerships With Law Enforcement/CSOSA Awards Ceremony

This Radio Program is available at http://media.csosa.gov/podcast/audio/?p=62

See http://media.csosa.gov for “DC Public Safety” Radio and Television Shows, Blog and Transcripts

See www.csosa.gov for the web site for the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency

(Audio begins)

Leonard Sipes: Hi and welcome to D.C. Public Safety. I’m your host Len Sipes. The annual CSOSA award ceremony is taking place today, on November 13th, 2007. We’re in a big downtown hotel in Washington, D.C. Principle speakers today are Paul Quander, the Director of CSOSA and Winston Robinson, the Deputy Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department. Now, we have an array of award winners recorded today and the primary emphasis of the show is the variety of tasks that Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency is involved in; in many cases within partnership with the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department so sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

Paul Quander: One of our main partners is the Metropolitan Police Department. A couple of weeks ago, this agency along with a number of other agencies both local and federal, took part in an event called Fugitive Safe Surrender and what that event encompassed was a whole group of agencies and let me just give you the agencies. From the U.S. Attorneys Office, the Superior Court Pretrial, the Public Defenders Service, also the Attorney General, the United States Parole Commission, the Metropolitan Police Department, OCTO, which is the Officer of the Chiefs Technology Office for the District of Columbia, the United States Marshall Service, Department of Corrections, and the Criminal Justice Coordinating Counsel, along with a faith institution, Bible Way Church decided that it would be a very good idea to do a joint effort so that we can get men and women or were on the fugitive status to come in, off of the street, out of the cold, and to come on back in and because of this agency commitment, because of this agency’s ability to make it all happen, it was a resounding success. You’re some real bad people because no event like this has ever been undertaken before in the history of the District of Columbia and there were a lot of people that said, no it can’t be done. You can’t get a church to open its doors. Now, churches may talk a good game but it’s one thing to talk and it’s another thing to actually open their doors to men and women who really need the service on the day other than Sunday, but we were able to do that. They said that you can’t get all the computers and the IT system together in order to make it all work, but I had a little secret. I’ve got a mean IT department here at CSOSA and I knew that if we gave them the challenge that they could put it together, and they did. They said you won’t be able to coordinate all the facilities and everything else that needs to be done to make this work but I had another little secret, I’m the Director of a great agency and we can do anything that we put our minds to. And then they said you won’t be able to get the men and women to come in but we do that day in and day out with the CSO and CSS so I knew in the back of my mind that we could do this. The only trick was to convince all the others that we could but when that door opened on that Thursday and those men and women started to come in and people from the Superior Court and all of our other partners were there working as one, then I knew that this agency had hit it’s mark and hit its mark in a very big way and the only way that we could have succeeded was because of all of you in this room because you didn’t ask any questions, you didn’t give any doubt, when I called you just said Mr. Quander, we’re going to be there and we’re going to do this and you did. You have to remember that this agency is only 10 years old. Only 10 years old and you have demonstrated throughout the course of this year and others, just how significant you are to criminal justice in this city. Take a moment and think about that. 10 years back, we weren’t even here and now this agency, because of you, are major players and that’s significant because a lot of you got into this work to make a difference in the lives of men and women in this city. A lot of you went to school to say, I want to come back to my community or to a community and to help out and very rarely do we get the opportunity but you’ve taken that opportunity, you’ve seized on it, and you make a difference to the lives of the men and women that come across our doorsteps everyday but more importantly, to their parents, their children, and to our community and it’s a wonderful thing. You don’t get rich financially in this type of work. It helps every now and then when you’re acknowledged and you get a couple of dollars in your pocket, but the thing that is everlasting is that spirit and that feeling that you get in your heart when you know that you’ve done a good job and you know that your fellow man is in a better position because you have taken that extra step and this award ceremony today is to acknowledge that extra step that you have taken throughout this year and often times we’re not there to say thank you when you do the work, when you put in the long hours, when you go home and you have to unload on your family, and they have to listen to that days work. We’re not there in the evenings to early mornings when you get up because you want to get to work a little early to do what you have to do, to get your day started but we are here today to say thank you and to acknowledge all that you have done. This has been a dream job for me because I enjoy coming to work everyday because I know what it is that we do and I know the value that we bring but it also gives me a good place in my heart to be surrounded by men and women who exemplify professionalism, who exemplify getting their job done, who exemplify being the best that they possibly can be. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel proud to be the director of this agency so as a director; I just need to give you a simple word. Thank you. Thanks so very much for all that you do day in and day out. I’m going to take a minute and talk about one of our partners in particular and that’s the Metropolitan Police Department because we realized early on that we could not do the work that we have to do by ourselves and we reached out and we reached out to the big boys on the block because we talk about criminal justice in this city, you have to talk about the Metropolitan Police Department and as a new agency, when we reached out to them, they said yeah. Let’s do these accountability tours. Let’s meet with the commanders regularly so we can exchange information. If you have a problem, then we have a problem and they’ve been right there by our side day in, day out, so please give them a round of applause for what they’ve done. And recognition of our partnership and the efforts that we have made to move public safety to a new direction, I would like to ask Assistant Chief Winston Robinson to come forward and to accept on behalf of Chief Cathy Lanier this award for our partnership efforts to further public safety in the District of Columbia.

Winston Robinson: I’m glad to be here today. I’m looking at all these faces. I remember 10 years ago, there weren’t that many faces. My district at that time was 7D and we were a pilot district for CSOSA to begin the new venture of community policing with us and our PSA we selected was 704 and I’d like to tell you 704, the first year had a 45% decrease in crime followed by a 21% the next year. So, I know first hand the success that CSOSA has made in the lives of its citizens and I know a lot of the inmates who are returning now. Some we arrested some I went to school with and grew up with and their lives hopefully will improve with your help. The work you do is invaluable, I mean, you make a difference in a lot of folks lives so keep your work going. The Chief is committed to CSOSA. Mr. Quander is an outstanding U.S. Attorney. He’s an outstanding Director of CSOSA, is that right? Give him a round and we’re committed to work with CSOSA to do whatever we can to improve the lives of the citizens and of the returnees and of course to make your work safe for you so thank you.

Interviews with award winners:

Leonard Sipes: Hi, could you give me your name please?

Catherine Terri Crusor: Hi, I’m Catherine Terri Crusor.

Leonard Sipes: And Catherine Terri Crusor, why did you win today’s award ceremony? Why were you recognized?

Catherine Terri Crusor: It’s great to be appreciated first of all for the work that we do. In the last year, I’ve been reassigned to manage the Sex Offender Supervision, General Supervision Service’s branch and during that year, I have been successful in coordinating initiatives within the 5th district, sex offender supervision activities, and the GPS monitoring unit in terms of efficient operations of those programs so I was acknowledged today for that accomplishment.

Leonard Sipes: Now, you now have over 600 individuals on a daily basis involved in GPS. You have been involved in one of the most difficult units in terms of the sex offender unit and you’re also instrumental about putting on an extremely well-attending conference on special supervision including sex offenders, mental health offenders, and domestic violence offenders.

Catherine Terri Crusor: Yes, that has been some of my accomplishments over the year and with the efforts of my colleagues, and very dedicated community supervision officers and other partners within the agency, we’ve been able to achieve a great deal in the last year and particularly in the area of GPS, we’ve done a great job in building up that program and now we service as you say in excess of 300 offenders with the success of the managers and programs so it’s been a good run this year. I look forward to continue work with CSOSA. It’s a great organization and agency and to know that they take time out of their busy work to acknowledge us is very appreciated.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you very much.

Catherine Terri Crusor: Thank you Len.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, give me your name.

Christine Keels: Chris Keels.

Leonard Sipes: And Chris why did you get the award today?

Christine Keels: I received an award for a special act which was involving, developing, employment partnerships for our agency for the offenders that we supervise.

Leonard Sipes: And one of the key ingredients of successful community supervision is to do exactly that, is to find employment opportunities for them and to provide training correct?

Christine Keels: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: And give me a little bit about the unit that you were involved in, VOTTE?

Christine Keels: VOTTE is a vocational opportunities, training, education, and employment and in this past year, we’ve had a wonderful opportunity with Giant Supermarket to provide 100 opportunities for offenders to be employed and so we were able to fill 92 of those positions, and we’re very proud of that.

Leonard Sipes: Now you’ve sense left VOTEE and went over to another unit correct?

Christine Keels: Yes, now I’m working with a faith based initiative which means helping to provide mentors for ex-offenders from the faith based community and so we’ve developed a work team and our work team received an award today so we’re very proud of that. We’re responsible for reaching out to the community and developing relationships and resources for ex-offenders. Of that includes mentors.

Leonard Sipes: And both key ingredients with jobs, job training, and mentors for offenders from the religious community, from the faith based community, those are 2 extraordinary big challenges.

Christine Keels: Yes, and I’m excited to be a part of both programs. It’s been a very good year. I think CSOSA has really put itself on the map in terms of innovative and creative ways to meet the needs of ex-offenders as they reenter into the community.

Leonard Sipes: Chris Keels, thank you very much.

Christine Keels: You’re welcome.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, could you give me your name please?

James Lanier: I’m James R. Lanier.

Leonard Sipes: And Jim, you gave out awards today to your team for what reason.

James Lanier: We have teams that really deal with the offenders in terms of reentry and so the folks who had done a great job for us got awards. We gave them awards for their work on reentry in terms of substance abuse and criminality.

Leonard Sipes: Now, you’ve run the reentry and sanction center. It is now a national if not internationally renounced organization. We have an entire building that we rehabbed in Washington D.C. that takes individuals with extremely long criminal histories and also drug histories and we try to help them when they come out of the prison system, we try to help them adjust to the realities of their substance abuse and start the treatment process, correct?

James Lanier: That is correct. We have offenders who are returning from incarceration, from all across the country who have to have an adjustment period to reenter into the community and so we spend that time doing an assessment, a needs assessment, a risk assessment, and then make recommendations as to how they can successfully reenter into the community.

Leonard Sipes: And from there they go to, ordinarily, they go to an inhouse drug treatment program and then outpatient drug treatment, correct?

James Lanier: That is correct. We try to get them stabilized to a drug treatment program. We have those needs assessed and those risks that we have identified, we try to give them wrap around services that will address their substance abuse and their criminality.

Leonard Sipes: And a couple earlier evaluations of this program indicate a substantial reductions in terms of arrests, correct?

James Lanier: That is correct. In fact, I’m so happy to report that last week, we got the results from our 2002 recidivism program and we reduced recidivism by 67%.

Leonard Sipes: Now, that’s amazing. Reducing recidivism by 67%.

James Lanier: That is correct. That is a study that will be released officially next week but it was released last week to us.

Leonard Sipes: Great. Thank you Jim.

James Lanier: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, and give me your name please?

Mary Anderson: Mary Anderson.

Leonard Sipes: And Mary Anderson, what do you do?

Mary Anderson: I’m the web content manager.

Leonard Sipes: And that’s a really really really modest because what you do is redesign websites, a new redesign website for the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency as well as doing the website for Fugitive Safe Surrender. You got an award today. Why did you get the award for today?

Mary Anderson: Well actually I got a performance award and I got a special achievement award for my help with the special observances committee.

Leonard Sipes: And how long have you been at work for CSOSA?

Mary Anderson: Since April 99.

Leonard Sipes: And what do you think? I mean you are the heart and soul of the technological public face of CSOSA in terms of the websites that you developed, in terms of the special website that you developed for Fugitive Safe Surrender. I mean your contributions are endless.

Mary Anderson: Well, thank you. It’s just part of my job.

Leonard Sipes: Okay, well thank you. Hi, can you tell me your name please?

Paul Washington: My name is Paul Washington.

Leonard Sipes: And Paul why did you get the award for today?

Paul Washington: My team, team 43, diagnostic received an award today for team service.

Leonard Sipes: Okay, now what is the Diagnostic Unit and what do you do?

Paul Washington: The Diagnostic Unit creates the PSIs for the agency.

Leonard Sipes: And PSI is presentence investigation.

Paul Washington: Presentence investigation, correct.

Leonard Sipes: So most of the offenders in D.C. Superior Court, when they are to be sentenced, do get presentence investigation, investigative reports, correct?

Paul Washington: Yes they do and the presentence report is a report that’s prepared to get a background history of the offender, kind of assess the offenders risks and needs to the community and provide the judiciary with a recommendation for sentencing.

Leonard Sipes: Which is the backbone of the whole sentencing process?

Paul Washington: Exactly, exactly because most of or all of the supervision officers, they rely on the presentence report prior to seeing the offender in order to manage the offender and determine how that offender is supervised.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you very much.

Paul Washington: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, could you give me your name please?

Tasha Trotter: Tasha Trotter.

Leonard Sipes: And Tasha why did you get the award for today?

Tasha Trotter: The award I just received is a special achievement award for the branch 2A supervisors.

Leonard Sipes: And why was that? Why did you get the award?

Tasha Trotter: Well, I think it was working as a team and supervisors in branch 2A coming up with different ideas to better help the teams ban together and better help to come up with programs to help the offenders. We do things all year. We did a conference in Las Vegas at the National Association Forensic Counselors and we worked on that as a team. Various ones worked on the PowerPoint’s, worked on the presentation, but we all worked together so that the branch remained in really good standing.

Leonard Sipes: Okay, so the bottom line is what the branch is being recognized for is finding new and unique ways to make sure that the offenders under our supervision get the services they need.

Tasha Trotter: Well said Len, well said. That’s exactly what we do.

Leonard Sipes: Also, I wanted to point out the fact that you were a public affairs officer at the Fugitive Safe Surrender program and you were there among 6 others to help handle the media. How did you feel about that?

Tasha Trotter: I really enjoyed the experience. I really enjoyed it. I did a lot. I had one of the reporter from the Washington Post call since then to ask about some of the things CSOSA does and a lot of the things that we were spearheading in the community.

Leonard Sipes: And you are a supervisory community supervision officer and you’ve been a supervisor for how long?

Tasha Trotter: Gosh, I’ve been a supervisor for maybe 2 years, 2.5 years.

Leonard Sipes: Right, and before that you were a community supervision officer out in the field working directly with offenders both on parole and probation.

Tasha Trotter: Yes I was.

Leonard Sipes: And what are your general reflections about dealing with offenders?

Tasha Trotter: I love it. I love it. Everyday, I love it, that’s why I do it.

Leonard Sipes: And it’s one of the most difficult things, jobs, anybody could possibly have.

Tasha Trotter: You know, difficult or challenging. It’s a challenge. It’s never boring. There’s always something and someway that you can help somebody’s life. I don’t care if it’s the individual, the offender, their family, the children, it’s always some way you can help somebody and it’s always challenging to come up with those kind of creative ways.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you very much.

Tasha Trotter: Anytime Len.

Leonard Sipes: Gentlemen give me your names please.

William Ware, James Epps: I’m William Ware. James Epps.

Leonard Sipes: And both of you received award today at the awards ceremony from CSOSA correct?

William Ware, James Epps: Yes we did.

Leonard Sipes: And why did you get these awards?

William Ware, James Epps: Hard work and dedication.

Leonard Sipes: No, no a little bit more than that. I mean what are the specific nature of what it is that you do and why you’re being acknowledged.

James Epps: I’m a Community Supervision Officer and the award for me today is Employee of the Year and it’s for the hard work that I do for my offenders.

William Ware: And I received a team awards. I think the unity that we have on the team and trying to ensure that we do reduce recidivism and along with the agency’s mission, insure public safety, and to do our best to try to help our offenders succeed. I think that’s why we got the award.

Leonard Sipes: And what is it like working with the offender population. I’ve done sort of some of this work in the past and I’ll tell you, it’s one of the toughest jobs that I’ve ever had but one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had but again, the whole idea of being out there in the community supervising offenders, that’s tough. That’s a tough job.

William Ware: Absolutely. It’s definitely a challenge but like you said, I think it’s a very rewarding job. I think it’s excellent.

James Epps: Very rewarding job especially when you’re helping others to achieve something that we’re all trying to achieve here in society and that’s to get ahead.

Leonard Sipes: Gentlemen, thank you. Hi, give me your name please?

Dana Anderson: Dana Anderson.

Leonard Sipes: And Dana you have been a community supervision officer for how long?

Dana Anderson: 1 year.

Leonard Sipes: And you got a couple of awards today I can see. 1 award? Okay you got 1 award. Now, let me ask you a little about community supervision officer. What does a community supervision officer do?

Dana Anderson: As a community supervision officer, we’re dedicated to assisting our offenders with gaining reentry back into the community.

Leonard Sipes: Okay, so what does that mean to the general public? It’s both a supervision role and at the same time an assisting role?

Dana Anderson: We assist them with gaining stable employment and maintaining sobriety, finding suitable housing, and helping them adjust to the community and becoming positive citizens.

Leonard Sipes: Right and at the same time you supervise them to make sure that they adhere to the orders of the court or the orders of the parole commission?

Dana Anderson: Yes.

Leonard Sipes: And that’s a big part of the public safety as well?

Dana Anderson: Yes.

Leonard Sipes: And also I wanted to point out the fact that you were a public affairs officer at Fugitive Safe Surrender, a volunteer public affairs officer, and you escorted medial throughout the process. Can you tell me how that process went?

Dana Anderson: It was actually wonderful. I got to meet a lot of individuals and tell them the wonderful things that CSOSA does on a day to day basis and also introduce them to various individuals of CSOSA and other government agencies who they can talk to.

Leonard Sipes: Dana, thank you.

Dana Anderson: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, can you give me your name please?

Faola Wolf: My name is Faola Wolf.

Leonard Sipes: And, Faola, you are with the mental health team and you won an award today at CSOSA’s award ceremony, correct?

Faola Wolf: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: Now, I’m really interested in the fact of why you won the award but more importantly about the mental health team. That is one of the most difficult assignments in the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, correct?

Faola Wolf: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: And tell me a little bit about what you do?

Faola Wolf: Well, on a mental health team, what we do when the offenders are assigned to the CSO’s, we first link them, if they’re already receiving mental health services, we link them or make sure that they continue those services with the mental health service provider in the community. If they’re not linked, they first get a mental health evaluation to determine whether or not those services are needed and if so then they’re linked with those appropriate community service providers and as CSO’s on a mental health unit we have to make sure to keep in contact, close contact with their case managers at those community service providers to make sure that they’re receiving the services, they’re taking their medications, and their compliant with their mental health services.

Leonard Sipes: You know, I can’t think of a more difficult and challenging population to deal with.

Faola Wolf: Yes, it’s difficult because you have to spend so much extra time. It’s not just the criminal aspect but their situation or housing, or employment. You also have those mental health issues, sometimes, most of those times it’s often substance abuse issues that come along with that and those mental health community service providers also provide substance abuse treatment also such as groups and NA and AA meetings so they may be able to provide both those services at the same time.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you very much. Hi, can you tell me your name please?

Ravila McMillen: Ravila McMillen.

Leonard Sipes: And Ms. McMillen you got an award today and do you know why.

Ravila McMillen: Yes, I got an award for my achievements in the interstate compact branch and the community supervision that I’ve done here in interstate.

Leonard Sipes: Okay, now tell me a little bit about the interstate compact. What that means is offenders who come from outside of D.C., into D.C. you supervise them correct?

Ravila McMillen: Yes, I supervise offenders. Well actually I supervise offenders that live outside of the district, so Maryland, Virginia, anything outside and we do transfer packets for them so that they can be supervised in their states so that even though they’re not in D.C., they’re able to be supervised in their jurisdiction.

Leonard Sipes: And you know that’s an important issue because a lot of people don’t understand how many offenders come into D.C. and how many people leave D.C. and all that has to be coordinated and your one of the people that does that coordination.

Ravila McMillen: Right.

Leonard Sipes: How’s it like? What’s it like? Challenging, difficult?

Ravila McMillen: It’s challenging but it’s worth while. It’s a lot of paperwork. A lot of packets that go out day to day and day in, day out and it’s overwhelming but we get the job done and we do what we have to do to make sure that offenders get supervised properly and where they need to be.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you very much.

Ravila McMillen: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, can you give me your name please?

Kenny Freeman: My name is Kenny Freeman.

Leonard Sipes: And Kenny, what is it that you do?

Kenny Freeman: I’m a drug testing technician with the illegal substance collection unit.

Leonard Sipes: And you got an award today, correct?

Kenny Freeman: That is correct.

Leonard Sipes: And why did you get the award?

Kenny Freeman: We got an award today for our performance as far as monitoring offenders in the collection process. I received this award on behalf of my unit for my performance as well as my attendance as well as our overall accuracy when it comes to the testing procedure.

Leonard Sipes: Now, a lot of people as we talk to various award winner throughout the course of the day, you know, it’s an opportunity for the public to understand what it is that you do. The overwhelming majority of the offenders, 15,000 offenders in any given day, undergo drug testing and they undergo drug testing on a regular basis.

Kenny Freeman: That is correct. In the drug testing process, we have to insure that all of our offenders who are under supervision remain drug and alcohol free so as part of that procedure we do monitor the samples and make sure that it is an accurate sample that’s collected.

Leonard Sipes: And they have their own tricks in terms of trying to water down samples or to being in samples from their kids sister, but you can figure that out correct?

Kenny Freeman: That is correct. A lot of times unfortunately we do see individuals who do attempt to circumvent the collection process, however, as law enforcement, we do report that and we do take the necessary steps.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you for being with us today.

Kenny Freeman: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, can you give me your name please?

Carlton Butler: Name is Carlton Butler.

Leonard Sipes: And Carlton you are one of the principles involved in GPS or satellite tracking of offenders, correct?

Carlton Butler: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: And you have an award today from the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency. Why did you get the award?

Carlton Butler: Well we got the award because of the significant improvement in the program in the last year or so. Actually, when I started, I recently came with CSOSA in December of last year. There were 98 offenders in the program. We improved the program and now today we have 600 offenders in the program.

Leonard Sipes: Now is that 600 offenders on any given day?

Carlton Butler: Yes, the total number as of today.

Leonard Sipes: Now, that’s amazing 600 offenders on any given day or under Global Satellite Positioning or under satellite tracking, that’s correct?

Carlton Butler: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: And there are a variety of offenders ranging from sex offenders to people violating their domestic violence court orders to violent offenders coming out of the prison system.

Carlton Butler: That’s correct. It’s a wide range of sex offenders as you said, domestic violence, we also have general supervision, people that need a little more supervision and the curfew violators, that’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: And there are times when the individual does not comply with the rules of the program and you put them under a curfew through the Global Positioning System Tracking.

Carlton Butler: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: Carlton, thank you.

Carlton Butler: Your welcome.

Leonard Sipes: Gentlemen, can I have your names please?

Kiplin Carter, Christopher Woodfield: Kiplin Carter, Christopher Woodfield.

Leonard Sipes: And gentlemen, why did you get the award for today?

Christopher Woodfield: Received the award for law enforcement partnership.

Kiplin Carter: The apprehension of outstanding warrants and sharing information with NPD.

Leonard Sipes: Wonderful, and?

Christopher Woodfield: In addition, we also have done accountability tour initiatives.

Leonard Sipes: And what is an accountability tour initiative tour?

Christopher Woodfield: We go out with NPD often detectives, sometimes the uniformed officers and do the home visits unscheduled and scheduled with offenders.

Leonard Sipes: Now there is a pretty good amount of cooperation between the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency in the Metropolitan Police Department, correct?

Kiplin Carter: Yes there is. Most recently we’ve taken up an initiative with the homicide tours. When a recent homicide happens, we come out with the Intel officers and we basically check in with our offenders first to see if there is any information that we can gather so we can work in a collaborative effort to try to you know bring the people to justice.

Leonard Sipes: And that’s a pretty interesting part of what it is we do because we also provide services to offenders but we also provide supervision and we take whatever action is necessary to protect the public and that’s part of what you’re doing.

Kiplin Carter: Yes, that’s correct. When we go out, the offenders do get to see us in conjunction with NPD. It presents an image to them that we are unified and I think it has a good impact on the community.

Leonard Sipes: Gentlemen, thank you.

Kiplin Carter, Christopher Woodfield: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, can I have your name please?

Alex Durand: Alex Durand.

Leonard Sipes: And Alex, you got an award today for what reason?

Alex Durand: I got the foreign language award and I’m a _____ community supervision officer and I assisted with the Fugitive Safe Surrender program. I also did some translations throughout the year assisting Latino speaking offenders.

Leonard Sipes: Now you have a regular case load of Latino offenders, correct?

Alex Durand: Actually I supervise a Diagnostic Unit and we don’t normally get Latino offenders but we periodically get some and under those circumstances, I kind of rotate and assist all of the different teams when they need translations as well as any efforts to contact family or collateral contacts.

Leonard Sipes: Now you mentioned Fugitive Safe Surrender. One of the things that I was to emphasize is that you did the 30 second radio commercials. You did the 60 second radio commercials for Fugitive Safe Surrender. You also have done podcasts on what it’s like to be supervised for the Latino community. You did 3 of those and you also did a whole heck of a lot of national Latino television and radio interviews for Fugitive Safe Surrender, correct?

Alex Durand: Wow, I didn’t know I had done all that but you’re right, I have done all that work throughout this year.

Leonard Sipes: So, it’s sort of interesting if you went from being a person within a large bureaucracy to a voice of a major agency.

Alex Durand: Well, it’s an honor just to be able to serve the community as well as the agency with these skills.

Leonard Sipes: Thank you very much.

Alex Durand: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, could you give me your name please.

Kim Barry: Kim Barry.

Leonard Sipes: And Kim, you are what? What do you do for the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency?

Kim Barry: I’m a treatment specialist with Central Intervention Team.

Leonard Sipes: And what does that do? What does that entail?

Kim Barry: What we do on CIT, for short, is we do assessments for offenders, but my specific core function is facilitating groups and management substance abuse education groups for all of our offenders.

Leonard Sipes: And you have a couple very special awards today. In fact, you have a letter from President Bush, correct?

Kim Barry: That’s correct, yes.

Leonard Sipes: And tell me why you got a letter from the President of the United States?

Kim Barry: Because this is the first time that the President has allowed such opportunities for persons to volunteer and receive awards for volunteer service, so I received this award because of the fact that I’ve volunteered over and above the amount required to receive a goal award and that’s 500 hours, but I actually have over 700 hours of community service so that’s why I received an award today.

Leonard Sipes: And we thank you for your service to the district and to the metropolitan area.

Kim Barry: Thank you so much for the opportunity.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, could I have your name please?

Diane Harper: Hi, my name is Diane Harper.

Leonard Sipes: And Diane you received what the unsung hero award, is that it?

Diane Harper: That’s correct.

Leonard Sipes: And tell me a little bit about that. You have a wonderful crystal statue or award sitting there and why did you get that award?

Diane Harper: I got it because I go above and beyond. I am the Community Supervision for team 20. I am detailed to the management analyst office, Dr. Deborah Kafame. I am detailed to the US PC reprimand sanction here where I am responsible for the transcripts in the docket and I’m just well-rounded and I go above and beyond to get the job done.

Leonard Sipes: We thank you for your service today.

Diane Harper: Thank you.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, give me your name please?

Jennifer LaPointe: Jennifer Lapointe.

Leonard Sipes: And Jennifer you have a huge crystal award today that says employee of the year 2007, Jennifer Lapointe, and congratulations.

Jennifer LaPointe: Thank you very much.

Leonard Sipes: Now, why do you think you got this award?

Jennifer LaPointe: For the work that I’ve been privileged to do with the Reenter and Sanctions Center for the Office of Community Justice programs with CSOSA.

Leonard Sipes: Now, the Reenter and Sanctions Center is that brand new building that we have in Northwest District of Columbia that basically takes offenders coming out of the prison system and does a complete and thorough analysis and gets them involved in very comprehensive drug treatment.

Jennifer LaPointe: This is correct and in support of that mission, I’ve been involved with the procurement, the personnel, the equipment, technology, just all aspects of the program and I’m honored to have an opportunity to serve those that are at most risk to the community and the staff that goes so diligently and dedicated towards making sure that those offenders and defendants reenter into society prepared to remain drug free.

Leonard Sipes: You put it perfectly Jennifer. Thank you for being our employee of the year.

Jennifer LaPointe: Thank you. I’m honored and surprised.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, can you give me your name please?

James Epps: James E. Epps.

Leonard Sipes: And James, once again, you have this gorgeous large crystal award, employee of the year 2007 to James E Epps. Now you are with the Community Supervision Services Branch, correct?

James Epps: Yes I am.

Leonard Sipes: And why did you get this award?

James Epps: For performance dedication and hard work for the offenders that I work for or have been working for the past 15 years in the community.

Leonard Sipes: Now, 15 years of supervising offenders in the community. I mean there is a marine corp hem that says you’re guaranteed heaven because you’ve served your time in hell. I mean that’s a difficult, challenging, but a very rewarding job, correct?

James Epps: Yes it is but most of all I get the mind gratification and appreciation from just helping others.

Leonard Sipes: And what do you do to help others?

James Epps: Sometimes, find them employment, try to teach them the right way to go and get up out of poverty, and help them get housing and things of that nature.

Leonard Sipes: Congratulations. We’re all very proud of you.

James Epps: Thank you very much.

Leonard Sipes: Hi, let me have your names please.

Linda Mayes: Linda Mayes.

Leonard Sipes: And what do you do Linda?

Linda Mayes: I’m the Associate Director for Human Resources.

Leonard Sipes: And?

Fran Hagan: I’m Fran Hagan and I’m a Human Resources Specialist.

Leonard Sipes: Now both of you were in charge of putting this ceremony on today and I’m assuming that this is the best way of ending a glorious ceremony. We had hundreds of people here in this huge ballroom in downtown D.C. to give recognition to employees who work in difficult dangerous situations and often times they don’t get the recognition they’ve received. You 2 were the people in charge of making sure that this happened.

Fran Hagan: That’s correct and we’re just so delighted to be able to support this great effort. You know, Human Resources if very important in the background for getting people paid and helping them get their awards on time and they’re so deserved and our agency is really wonderful to put on an event like this so that everyone can come up and shake the directors hand and get a picture made and just a time out when we can acknowledge the great work they do all year.

Leonard Sipes: Linda, I need you to add to that.

Linda Mayes: Well, I just want to say that Fran worked so hard. It takes a lot of work to put this on and she did a tremendous job.

Leonard Sipes: It really is interesting. Again, large huge ballroom in downtown D.C., hundreds of award winners, people who got trophies, people who got beautiful crystal awards, people who got individual awards ceremonies and recognitions. I mean this was really difficult to put on.

Linda Mayes: Well it does take a lot of work, but it always gets done every year and when we need help, people pitch in and it’s a great effort for human resources. Everybody comes together.

Leonard Sipes: Ladies, thank you.

Linda Mayes, Fran Hagan: Your welcome and thank you.

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DC Fugitive Safe Surrender Interview from WPGC

This Radio Program is available at http://media.csosa.gov/podcast/audio/?p=58

See http://media.csosa.gov for “DC Public Safety” Radio and Television Shows, Blogs and Transcripts

See www.csosa.gov for the web page of the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency

See www.dcsafesurrender.org for the web page for Fugitive Safe Surrender in Washington, DC.
Guy Lambert: Hey folks. Welcome back to Community Focus. Thanks so much for sticking around with us this morning. I’m your host, WPGC’s news director, Guy Lambert. Well, it’s no secret a number of people right here in the D.C. area have had a run in with the law. Now in most cases, the issue would be rectified in a court of law. But then there are those who avoid the law and are dubbed as being a fugitive. That’s where the Court Services in Offender Supervision Agency for D.C. come into play. I’m pleased to say that I’m joined during this segment by Mr. Paul Quander. He is the director for Court Services in Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia and he’s here to tell us about the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program. Mr. Quander, got to say thank you so much for joining us and welcome to Community Focus.

Paul Quander: Thanks for having me today, I really appreciate it.

Guy Lambert: Very interesting topic. We are talking about the Fugitive Safe Surrender program which is being implemented right here in Washington D.C. Bring us up to speed. What exactly is taking place?

Paul Quander: Well, what is taking place is a national effort that was started in 2005 in Cleveland, Ohio and essentially in Cleveland, a minister, a prosecutor and a police officer got together and they thought about a way that they could bring the community together. There are a lot of individuals out there in various communities that have outstanding warrants for non-violent offenders and they’re out there, they’re not participating in programs and they’re running for the law. They can’t get their lives back together.

Guy Lambert: Right.

Paul Quander: So, it was thought that there was a way that we can bring people in without having to go and knock on people’s doors at 3: 00 or 4: 00 in the morning, disturbing the family and so what they did is they invited through a church, instead of going and surrendering in the court or with a law enforcement agency, they brought the church in because the church is always been the foundation of our community. And so they got with a local minister there and that minister opened up his door. They were expecting to get maybe 50 people in. They had over 800 individuals that walked in off of the street. And the beauty of the program is that everything that was at the courthouse was there at the church. When I say everything, I mean judges, lawyers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, interpreters, court reporters. Everything that would happen at a courthouse was there at the church. And the real beauty of it was that people came in of their own volition, they came in with their grandmothers, they came in with their children, they came in with their support mechanisms. But the main thing was, they were able to get those warrants resolved that very day and the vast majority, over 90 percent of the people that walked in the front door, walked out of that same front door that same day.

Guy Lambert: Wow.

Paul Quander: So we had those matters resolved and they got on with their lives and we wanted to do that same thing here in the District of Columbia and that’s where we are. We’re excited about it, we’re going to be at Bible Way Church in northwest Washington at 1100 New Jersey Avenue on November 1 through November 3, so that’s Thursday through Saturday from 9 until 5 and we’re hoping to attract as many individuals who have outstanding warrants in the District of Columbia, non-violent warrants, to come in and to turn themselves in and have those matters resolved, right there at Bible Way Church.

Guy Lambert: Okay. First thing, now once again this is taking place at the Bible Way Baptist Church on what date again?

Paul Quander: It will be Thursday, November the 1st through Saturday, November the 3rd.

Guy Lambert: Okay, and that’s located in the 1100 block of what again?

Paul Quander: Of New Jersey Avenue, northwest Washington D.C.

Guy Lambert: And from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., if I have an outstanding warrant in regard to it not being violent, if you will,

Paul Quander: That’s correct.

Guy Lambert: I can turn myself in.

Paul Quander: That’s right. And when we’re talking about non-violent warrants, misdemeanor warrants, traffic warrants. There are a lot of individuals that have traffic warrants that are outstanding and you can get those resolved during this period as well and that’s why it’s called Fugitive Safe Surrender and one of the big things about it is, it’s at the church and you can take care of those matters and get on with your life.

Guy Lambert: You stated that 90 percent of the folk who walked in, now what church was this out in what state, I’m sorry.

Paul Quander: This was in Cleveland

Guy Lambert: In Cleveland.

Paul Quander: Yes.

Guy Lambert: 90 percent of the folks that walked in there that had a warrant were able to walk out.

Paul Quander: Well actually Guy, it’s bigger than that, because Cleveland was just the first site. After Cleveland, it was done in Phoenix and 1,300 people turned themselves in Phoenix. So it’s been in Phoenix, it’s been in Indianapolis, it’s been in Nashville.

Paul Quander: Akron and just 2 weeks ago it was in Memphis, Tennessee and 1,600 individuals walked in, turned themselves in and less than 60 individuals were detained. So, the vast majority of individuals who qualify for this program, they get correct, they get their matters resolved and they go on with their life. One of the other interesting things is that although this is we’re stressing non-violent offenders, some offenders who have violent warrants outstanding turn themselves in knowing that they are not going to be released. But they want to turn themselves in to a safe place and what better place to turn yourself into than a man of God at his church which he is opening up. So, we’re expecting people to come in, many of the people that turn themselves in will have their matters resolved, will have a new court date set, they will get on with their lives and that’s what we want. The community as a whole benefits.

Guy Lambert: Had this event not taken place at a church, would those 90 percent that we referred to earlier, would they have walked out the door at a courthouse, per se?

Paul Quander: Yes. They would have, but the rub is who you gonna believe.

Guy Lambert: Right.

Paul Quander: You gonna believe the law enforcement that says come on in and trust me or are you gonna believe a member of the church who has been in this community for years and that’s why we, we wanted this partnership because that you know there have been many guises, many tricks so to speak and things of that nature and we wanted to make sure that the men and women who have outstanding D.C. warrants knew that this wasn’t a game that’s being played. This is the real thing because what we’re interested in doing is getting people back to doing positive things. Getting them back in their children’s lives, getting them back to going to PTA and Little League and football games with their families. If you have a warrant, you can’t do that. You’re always worried about being stopped. You’re worried about being in the car with your children and running a red light and having an officer pull you over and arrest you in front of your children. And a lot of the warrants that are outstanding again are for non-violent offenses. People who had court dates and didn’t show up for court, people that had probation warrants who walked away from probation and parole warrants as well. All of these individuals are welcome to participate and will qualify.

Guy Lambert: So, once again, anyone that has a non-violent offense and that has a warrant, those are the folks that you are actually looking for.

Paul Quander: Right in the District of Columbia.

Guy Lambert: In the District of okay. Now what about juveniles.

Paul Quander: Juveniles, we could not do it this time because we have to keep the juveniles separate from the adults. But depending on the success of the program, we may offer something in the future for juvenile offenders.

Guy Lambert: Let’s say, quick question here. Let’s say, I did something in the past, not to sure or can’t, it’s been so long ago I can’t even remember. I’m not sure if I have a warrant. How do I go about to find out if I do have a warrant?

Paul Quander: The best thing to do because of privacy issues, because when you call we don’t know who’s on the other end of the line.

Guy Lambert: Right.

Paul Quander: And so there’s no way to verify that. The best thing to do is to come down to the church. We will have the capability of identifying any warrant that anyone may have anywhere in the country. The Unites States Marshals Service which is the founding partner of this, this program will be present and so we’ll be able to identify and amazingly enough, in each of the jurisdictions, the six prior jurisdictions, up to 10 percent of the people that turned themselves in didn’t have a warrant.

Guy Lambert: Wow.

Paul Quander: The warrants had either been expunged, they had expired or, in fact, there just was no warrant. So those people came in thinking that they had a warrant. But just think, they were running around, they were hiding, they were looking over their shoulders for God knows how long, when they really didn’t need to.

Guy Lambert: Can I bring someone with me because I’m nervous, I’m not sure what’s gonna happen and like you said earlier, I would like to bring Grandma or my kids with me.

Paul Quander: Absolutely. We will, we welcome parents, we welcome any support personnel. It doesn’t have to be a family member. If there’s a support person in your life that you would like to accompany you when you turn yourself in, please do so. We have space available. We have 20,000 square feet of space at the church. So Bible Way is perfect in so many ways, the location, just it’s prison ministry history, but also it has a lot of space and we plan on using every bit of it to make sure that family members are comfortable, that children are taken care of, that services will be provided. There will be representatives from Apra, which is the District of Columbia’s drug treatment program there, there will be representatives from the Department of Employment Services which is the District of Columbia’s labor and employment services, so we want people to, to come to be whole again. Not just get straight with the warrant, but if you need drug treatment, we want to sign you up. If you need jobs, we want to sign you up. If there are other services that you need, we want to have that connection right there. So, we’re looking at a holistic approach to dealing with individuals and trying to get them back to where we need them to be.

Guy Lambert: When we’re talking about non-violent crimes, what would be a considered a violent crime?

Paul Quander: A violent crime would be any armed defense. It would be your carjackings, your kidnappings, your robberies, your burglaries, things of that nature that have a pretty fundamental idea of what is a violent crime.

Guy Lambert: What about a, not to get you off, but what about a sex offender.

Paul Quander: A sex offender, that would be a violent crime.

Guy Lambert: Okay.

Paul Quander: And so those individuals would not be eligible for the favorable consideration in a sense of there’s a likelihood that they would be walking out of the front door or released. Those individuals we need to make sure that we have good information and more information then you would normally get in a very quick hearing. That is why we concentrated on the non-violent offenders. But when we talk about non-violent offenders, a large number of those individuals are going to be traffic cases, they’re gonna be drug cases, they’re going to be possession with intent to distribute cases, they’re going to be simple possession. So, a lot of individuals will come in who have that type of offense, who have been running from the law, who can come in and get those matters resolved. We have a website that is at www.dcsafesurrender.org and we have frequently asked questions and we have an entire list of those offenses that are considered violent offenses by statute. So, I would invite the listeners to go to the website, again it’s www.dcsafesurrender.org and take a look at those offenses and all of the other information that we have available. We think that the more information that we can get out there, the more people will take a look at it and more people will decide to come on in and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

Guy Lambert: What are people saying. Out of curiosity, those that you have come into contact with that have actually had a warrant and maybe some of their family members. What do they say about this program?

Paul Quander: They say it’s a it’s a Godsend. About 3 years ago, a young man came to me, Chester Hines, who runs a program out in southeast on Martin Luther King Avenue and he said we grew up together right here in D.C. and he knew I was the director of CSOSA and he said look, I have friend, a young lady who has a warrant outstanding on here and she’s been running. She’s been ducking and dodging, but she’s got her life together, but she’s afraid. She wants to get her life back. What can you do for her? So he brought her in, we worked with her, the warrant was from the United State Parole Commission, we talked to the Parole Commission, we verified that she was doing very well and the Parole Commission withdrew the warrant and this young lady got back her life. Unfortunately, she died a short time thereafter. That’s always stayed with me. That this woman did the right thing, she got control of her drug treatment, of her drug issue, she changed her life around, but she still had that warrant that was hanging over her head.

Guy Lambert: Wow.

Paul Quander: So, if we could have gotten to her with a program like this earlier, she could have enjoyed her life more. I got a call yesterday from a young man because we’ve been getting the word out who says look I need to tell myself in now and I can’t wait until Thursday. So, we are working with him and we’re trying to get him in and, in fact, people can turn themselves in now to a superior court pre-trial services at 500 Indiana Avenue. But on Thursday, November 1st, we’ll have everything right there, very convenient for you so you can walk in and get your matters resolved.

Guy Lambert: And once again, that will take place at Bible Way Baptist Church in the 1100 block of New Jersey Avenue from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday, November the 1st through November the 3rd. Is that correct?

Paul Quander: That is correct. But Guy, let me just, one other thing. Sometimes people like to wait till the last minute. Don’t wait. Saturday 5: 00, the doors have to close, so we need people to come out early, people will be there to process ’em, to get them in, get them out, get them back with their families and we want people to take advantage of it as soon as they possibly can beginning on Thursday, November the 1st.

Guy Lambert: And one more time, for more information what telephone number can folks call and is there a website and I know you stated it earlier, what’s that address one more time.

Paul Quander: Well, let me give you the phone number. It’s 202-585-SAFE, S A F E, so 202-585-SAFE or 7233 and the website again is www.dcsafesurrender.org.

Guy Lambert: Alright, very good. Once again, Mr. Paul Quander, he is the director of Court Services in Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia. Truly a pleasure to meet you sir, such a great program. I really hope it works out. Please get back to us and let us know how it all turns out.

Paul Quander: Will do. Thank you so much for your support. We really appreciate it.

Guy Lambert: Alright folks. Stick around. We’re going to take a quick break. More community focus coming up next right here of WPGC AM and FM morning side of Washington D.C.

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