Witness Protection Program

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In the United States, the Witness Protection Program is established by the Witness Protection Act, which in turn sets out the manner in which the U.S. Attorney General may provide for the relocation and protection of a witness or potential witness of the federal government, or for a state government in an official proceeding concerning organized crime or other serious offences. See 18 U.S.C.A 3521 et. seq.

Witness protection is the process in which witnesses, such as those who testify in criminal trials, are protected against intimidation before their testimony or criminal retaliation after. The U.S. Federal Government both relocates and gives new identities to witnesses who risk their lives by giving testimony. The Federal Government also gives grants to the states to enable them to provide the same program. The federal program is called WITSEC (the Federal Witness Protection Program) and was founded in the late 1960's by Gerald Shur when he was in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the United States Department of Justice.

Further reading

  • WITSEC: Inside the Federal Witness Protection Program, Pete Earley and Gerald Shur, Bantam Books, Hardcover February 2002, ISBN 0-553-80145-7, Paperback April 2003, ISBN 0-553-58243-7
  • Gregg and Gina Hill, On the Run: A Mafia Childhood, Warner Books, October 14, 2004, hardcover, 256 pages, ISBN 044652770X
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