Nashville Church to Offer Mandate Holders a Place of Surrender


NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WTVF) – Thousands of people walk the streets of Nashville with outstanding warrants.

This can range from failing to appear in court for a traffic violation to unpaid citations. But there is an effort for these people to come forward peacefully.

The men and women of Davidson County who are wanted for non-violent crimes will soon be given a unique opportunity to get a second chance.

The Nashville Court System, in partnership with area community leaders, is gearing up for a two-day Safe Surrender of Nashville event to be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, December 10 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 10. 11, at the Galilee Baptist Missionary Church, 2021 Herman Street.

Pastor William Harris of the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church says serving the community is not a 9 to 5 job.

“You have to understand that we are 24/7 pastors, we never leave,” Harris said.

Several pastors in Nashville have teamed up to help do what they are called to do and bring those who have strayed back to a second chance.

“The environment here is a spiritual environment but it is a comfortable environment,” said Pastor Michael Joyner.

There are approximately 33,000 active warrants in Davidson County.

“Of course, coming here, ministers and community volunteers, is a safer and more comfortable environment than going downtown to a courtroom with court officers,” Joyner said.

Those who choose to surrender could even avoid jail if they show up on the dates of the event.

“They don’t sit in jail or have your hearing within a certain timeframe, 10 days 15 days while they wait for their time to appear in court,” Judge Steve Dozier said.

Organizers say those who show up to church to surrender will be treated – able to speak with a lawyer and appear before judges like Dozier and Lynda Jones in the criminal or general courts.

“Some of those warrants are five or six years old. And the witnesses are long gone, or it was a bogus claim, to begin with. We really just want to clean this up and I want our justice system to be fair to everyone. And it will work better for everyone if people come forward, ”Jones said.

Nashville hosted a two-day Safe Surrender event in September 2015, which saw a total of 86 people come to Galilee Church to receive special attention to begin resolving their pending criminal charges. These 86 people were appointed in a total of 133 outstanding terms.

Nashville hosted a four-day Safe Surrender event in conjunction with a nationwide effort advocated by US Marshal’s Service in August 2007, in which 561 people peacefully and voluntarily surrendered to the Galilee Church.

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