When did the witness protection program originate ?

I was just watching an episode of Law and Order and wondering how safe it is to be in the program and if it's true, that people sometimes have to totally break away from immediate family members.

Update:

Johnny Wane: Answer the damn question son !

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Well for real and not on TV 1970 (below is way more than you ever wanted to know LOL but I'm addicted to searching sh*t out)

    "The most important rule of the program is that witnesses must not make contact with former associates or unprotected family members. They also must not return to the town from which they were relocated. According to the Marshals Service, no witness who has followed these rules has ever been killed. (See Newsweek: The New Face of Witness Protection to read about a case of someone who did not follow the rules.)

    Once assimilated into their community, contact with the government is only required once per year. Witnesses also need to make contact with the government if they move. Any other contact with witnesses must be requested through the OEO or Marshals Service. " http://people.howstuffworks.com/witness-protection...

    See:

    "In the United States, the Witness Protection Program (also known as the Witness Security Program, or WitSec) was established under Title V of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, which in turn sets out the manner in which the United States Attorney General may provide for the relocation and protection of a witness or potential witness of the federal or state government in an official proceeding concerning organized crime or other serious offenses. See 18 U.S.C.A 3521 et. seq.

    The Federal Government also gives grants to the states to enable them to provide similar services. The federal program is called WITSEC (the Federal Witness Protection Program) and was founded in the late 1960s by Gerald Shur when he was in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the United States Department of Justice. Most witnesses are protected by the United States Marshals Service, while protection of incarcerated witnesses is the duty of the Federal Bureau of Prisons."

    Falling off the face of the Earth ---The Witness Security Program is designed to create total anonymity for witnesses and help them blend into a new city where they most likely won't be recognized. The United States has more than 300 million people and thousands of citie­s in which to hide a protected witness. Following the acceptance of a witness into the program, the Marshals Service is tasked with creating a new identity and finding a new city for the witness, his family and any endangered associates. This requires the coordination of multiple government agencies, good timing and total secrecy. http://people.howstuffworks.com/witness-protection...

  • 1 decade ago

    It was created in the '60's by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. It was used primarily for mob turncoats. They would give individuals protection and often immunity from prosecution for their testimony to convict mob members.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Johnny Wane: another one who thinks he's Mr.Knowitall yet contributes with a dumb answer ! Geez ! Another one who couldn't skip the question!

    Clo, it was created in 1970 and sometimes, they relocate the whole family while changing their names.

  • 1 decade ago

    You lose contact with everybody in tour life.If you can totally disconnect with everyone you know, it probably is difficult.Law and order is one of the best crime shows on the box.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It started in 1AD when Joseph and Mary had to flee to Bethlehem to escape Herod's wrath.

    I think Joseph dressed in drag and Mary wore a mustache to get past the boarder guards.

    [true story, maybe]

    Source(s): Matthew 2:13
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