Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Federal Witness Protection Program
The Federal Witness Protection Program, also known as the Federal Witness Security (WITSEC) Program, was authorized by Congress as part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. This program, which was implemented in 1971, is proclaimed to be the government's best tool in combating organized crime, drug-related crimes, terrorism, and other serious law violations. Witnesses receive protection from the U.S. Marshals Service from the time they testify before a grand jury until the trial is completed. After the trial, witnesses and their family are relocated, given new identities, and provided with monthly stipends. The U.S. Marshals Service assists protected witnesses in obtaining such services as housing, medical care, job training, and employment. Ninety-seven percent of these witnesses have criminal histories but their recidivism rate is only half of the national average. Their testimony is extremely important because they have inside information that would be difficult or impossible for law ...