Tackling Philadelphia's fugitive army

Fugitives caught in a predawn raid are led into Family Court in February. (Dana DiFilippo / Staff)

The fugitive of legend is a lone antihero, defying the odds along with hordes of lawmen in hot pursuit. In Philadelphia, though, this narrative had been turned on its head: Thanks to the justice system’s failure to bring about consistent consequences for flouting its authority and skipping court, it was the fugitives who wandered the land in droves, while the authorities seemed to face slim chances of rounding them up.

Now the city appears to be finally making progress on this potentially devastating problem. The means are straightforward: A special court established last year started putting fugitives in jail. As a result, many more defendants have decided that showing up for court is a good idea.

Read more on Monday's editorial page or at Inquirer.com/opinion.


Read more Inquirer letters and commentary here. And use your subscriber sign-on information to access everything in The Inquirer, and more, at the new inquirer.com

  • Get your inquirer.com digital sign-on here. Not an Inquirer subscriber yet? Sign up here.
  • A handy FAQ on getting connected can be found here.