Attorney General Encourages Those with Outstanding Bench Warrants to Turn Themselves in during Safe Surrender 2016

Cooperative Effort Provides Safe, Low-Trauma Way to Clear Outstanding Warrants

WASHINGTON, D. C. – The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and fellow stakeholders in the District’s criminal-justice system are encouraging residents with outstanding bench warrants for low-level offenses to turn themselves in as part of D.C. Safe Surrender 2016. The event -- designed for individuals who are wanted for non-violent felonies, misdemeanors and parole, probation, pretrial, or supervised release violations in the District of Columbia -- will be held at the D.C. Superior Court’s Moultrie Courthouse on three consecutive Saturdays, beginning this Saturday, Sept. 10.

D.C. Safe Surrender is an opportunity for those with such warrants to surrender voluntarily. The program recognizes that many people are looking for a way to resolve their outstanding warrants, and the goal is to reduce the number of outstanding bench warrants by allowing surrender in a safe and secure environment. The program provides persons with a way to turn themselves in without the risk of being arrested at home, in front of their family and children, or during a routine traffic stop.

“Safe Surrender offers a chance for those with outstanding warrants for low-level offenses to clear them without putting their safety, their family’s well-being, or the safety of law-enforcement officers at risk,” Attorney General Karl A. Racine said. “OAG is happy to collaborate with our partners in the District’s criminal-justice system to ensure that Safe Surrender 2016 is the most successful yet.”

This is the third time the District has held Safe Surrender, which is modeled after a national program. Similar D.C. Safe Surrender programs in 2007 and 2011 saw more than 1,000 people turn themselves in, with 98 percent of participants returning home that same day. There are approximately 12,000 currently outstanding bench warrants in the District for minor offenses like failure to appear in court, failure to pay a fine, parole violations and other offenses.

This year’s D.C. Safe Surrender will take place at the Moultrie Courthouse (500 Indiana Avenue NW) on September 10, 17 and 24, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information, including a list of those with bench warrants eligible for the program, please visit Information is also available at the D.C. Safe Surrender Facebook page.

Safe Surrender is a partnership between OAG, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, D.C. Public Defender Service, D.C. Superior Court, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, Metropolitan Police Department, Pretrial Services Agency, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Parole Commission.