DC Fugitive Safe Surrender Press Conference

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(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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  1. Wow man keep

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