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This is a program authorized by Federal law since 1974 to protect witnesses in federal cases. Witnesses and their families typically get new identities with authentic documentation. Housing, medical care, job training and employment can also be provided. Subsistence funding to cover basic living expenses is also provided to the witnesses until they become self-sufficient in the relocation area.
The program is used to fight organized crime, Terrorism, gang-related crime, and narcotics trafficking. The Attorney General determines whether a witness is qualified for Witness Security protection. In a state court case, the determination is based on a request from a State Attorney General through the appropriate U.S. Attorney's office. The Marshals Service provides 24-hour protection to all witnesses while they are in a high threat environment