- The U.S. Marshals Service operates the federal Witness Security Program,
sometimes referred to as the “Witness Protection Program.”
- The Witness Security Program provides for the security, safety and health
of government witnesses and their authorized family members, whose lives are
in danger as a result of their cooperation with the U.S. government.
- The U.S. Marshals Service provides 24-hour protection to all witnesses
while they are in a high-threat environment, including pretrial conferences,
trial testimonials and other court appearances.
- Witnesses and their families typically get new identities with authentic
- Witnesses receive financial assistance for housing, subsistence for basic
living expenses and medical care. Job training and employment assistance may
also be provided.
- More than 8,300 witnesses and 9,800 of their authorized family members
have participated in the program since it began in 1971.
- No Witness Security Program participant following program guidelines has
been harmed while under the active protection of the U.S. Marshals Service.
- The program provides a unique and valuable tool in the U.S. government’s
battle against organized crime, drug trafficking organizations, terrorism
and other major criminal enterprises.
- U.S. Marshals Service Witness Security personnel are the leading
authorities and foremost experts on witness security matters, providing
guidance and training to many government officials throughout the world.
- The U.S. Marshals Service cooperates fully with local law enforcement and
court authorities when protected witnesses become involved in criminal
and/or civil matters.
- The Witness Security Program was authorized by the Organized Crime
Control Act of 1970 and amended by the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of
Office of Public Affairs
Revised April 06, 2011