Witness Security Program
The U.S. Marshals Service provides for the security, health and safety of government witnesses, and their immediate dependents, whose lives are in danger as a result of their testimony against drug traffickers, terrorists, organized crime members and other major criminals.
The Witness Security Program was authorized by the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 and amended by the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984. The U.S. Marshals have protected, relocated and given new identities to more than 8,600 witnesses and 9,900 of their family members, since the program began in 1971.
The successful operation of
this program is widely recognized as providing a unique and valuable
tool in the government’s battle against major criminal conspirators and
The U.S. Marshals provide 24-hour protection to all witnesses, while they are in a high-threat environment including pretrial conferences, trial testimonials and other court appearances.
No Witness Security Program participant, following program guidelines, has been harmed or killed while under the active protection of the U.S. Marshals Service.
In both criminal and civil matters involving protected witnesses, the U.S. Marshals cooperate fully with local law enforcement and court authorities to bring witnesses to justice or to have them fulfill their legal responsibilities.