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MICAH to Launch Safe Surrender Program in Milwaukee

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The 53206 zip code

The project would primarily target the 53206 zip code area. People with outstanding arrest warrants could surrender to authorities at faith-based locations. Groups would help guide those individuals in paying their debts to society, enabling them to shed outstanding issues and move forward with their lives.

A steering committee would decide which offenses are eligible and what the penalties would be for those individuals, if they surrender. MICAH estimates 50,000 people might qualify. They are wanted for such offenses as burglary, certain drug crimes and unpaid traffic fines.

"People with outstanding arrest warrants often live off the grid, isolated from the broader community for fear of being caught," according to a statement MICAH.

"Safe Surrender is a safe harbor where those without knowledge of the workings of the system can be restored and recover their place in the community," adds Rev. Willie Brisco, MICAH president.

The 53206 zip code area has among the country's highest rates of black men in prison or with criminal records.

Planning for Safe Surrender will move into high gear in July, including with door-to-door visits and town hall meetings. Among those involved will be pastors and authorities from the criminal justice committee.

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