Attorney General Eric Holder was in Nashville on Tuesday for a wide-ranging discussion with pastors of several African-American churches.
The group of local ministers met privately with Holder for about an hour. Among the subjects they discussed included project Safe Surrender, a program that Holder was eager to hear about.
Beginning in 2007, the project turned a Nashville church into a place where people with outstanding warrants could safely turn themselves in.
Since then, 560 wanted fugitives have made their way to the church to clear their conscience and possibly their names.
The ministers say Safe Surrender project is one example of how faith-based organizations can work together with law enforcement.
Holder and the pastors also discussed how faith-based organizations can play a bigger role in community corrections. Rev George Brooks of the St. James Missionary Baptist Church has had people sentenced to work at his church.
"Like Holder said today, there are some programs that could be begun in the faith community that could, in the long run, save some tax dollars," said Brooks.
The ministers and Holder talked about the problem of minor criminal records following them, which prevents those with criminal records from getting jobs.
After the meeting, the pastors said they felt they had opened a good dialog with Washington and are making strides toward positive changes.
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