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U.S. Marshals Service

U.S. Marshals Service for Students

Witness Security

The Marshals Service protects government witnesses and their families. These witnesses agree to provide important testimony (tell what they know) if they can be protected from harm and will not be charged with a crime.

The Marshals Service protects witnesses who testify against dangerous defendants like drug traffickers, organized crime members, terrorists, and other criminals. For a witness’ testimony, the government offers protection, a new name and a safe location. Since 1971, more than 7,500 witnesses have entered the Witness Security Program, and including 17,000 family members.

The Marshals Service provides each new witness with the following services:

  • 24 hour protection before and during all judicial proceeding
  • counseling and training for the changes that will occur
  • physical and dental examinations
  • briefings about their relocation to a new region
  • helping find a new job
  • backup documents using their new name in a new location

Since the Witness Security Program began, protected witnesses' testimony has helped put 89 percent (a lot) of criminals they testified against in prison. No witness has ever been harmed while under the active protection and following the security guidelines of the Marshals Service!

Learn more:

Historical Information about Witness Security is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice