18 U.S.C. § 3521 Witness Relocation and Protection

LibraryUnited States Statutes
CurrencyCurrent through P.L. 118-34 (published on www.congress.gov on 12/26/2023), except for [P. L. 118-31]
Citation18 U.S.C. § 3521


(1) The Attorney General may provide for the relocation and other protection of a witness or a potential witness for the Federal Government or for a State government in an official proceeding concerning an organized criminal activity or other serious offense, if the Attorney General determines that an offense involving a crime of violence directed at the witness with respect to that proceeding, an offense set forth in chapter 73 of this title directed at the witness, or a State offense that is similar in nature to either such offense, is likely to be committed. The Attorney General may also provide for the relocation and other protection of the immediate family of, or a person otherwise closely associated with, such witness or potential witness if the family or person may also be endangered on account of the participation of the witness in the judicial proceeding.

(2) The Attorney General shall issue guidelines defining the types of cases for which the exercise of the authority of the Attorney General contained in paragraph (1) would be appropriate.

(3) The United States and its officers and employees shall not be subject to any civil liability on account of any decision to provide or not to provide protection under this chapter.


(1) In connection with the protection under this chapter of a witness, a potential witness, or an immediate family member or close associate of a witness or potential witness, the Attorney General shall take such action as the Attorney General determines to be necessary to protect the person involved from bodily injury and otherwise to assure the health, safety, and welfare of that person, including the psychological well-being and social adjustment of that person, for as long as, in the judgment of the Attorney General, the danger to that person exists. The Attorney General may, by regulation-

(A) provide suitable documents to enable the person to establish a new identity or otherwise protect the person;

(B) provide housing for the person;

(C) provide for the transportation of household furniture and other personal property to a new residence of the person;

(D) provide to the person a payment to meet basic living expenses, in a sum established in accordance with regulations issued by the Attorney General, for such times as the Attorney General determines to be warranted;

(E) assist the person in obtaining employment;

(F) provide other services necessary to assist the person in becoming self-sustaining;

(G) disclose or refuse to disclose the identity or location of the person relocated or protected, or any other matter concerning the person or the program after weighing the danger such a disclosure would pose to the person, the detriment it would cause to the general effectiveness of the program, and the benefit it would afford to the public or to the person seeking the disclosure, except that the Attorney General shall, upon the request of State or local law enforcement officials or pursuant to a court order, without undue delay, disclose to such officials the identity, location, criminal records, and fingerprints relating to the person relocated or protected when the Attorney General knows or the request indicates that the person is under investigation for or has been arrested for or charged with an offense that is punishable by more than one year in prison or that is a crime of violence;

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