I was catching up on streaming Blue Bloods on Paramount + last night, and there was an episode where a witness was heading off to witness protection. I like to watch mob movies and crime dramas, and witness protection has always intrigued me.

So does Minnesota have a Witness Protection Program?

If you're a Minnesotan, there are circumstances where you could be eligible for a witness protection program. However, there is a process and not everyone qualifies for witness protection. It's usually used as a last resort for people in serious danger.

Horizontal view of a danger at night
KatarzynaBialasiewicz
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When did witness protection programs start in the United States?

Back in 1871, the United States had witness protection available for those people willing to testify against the Klu Klux Klan.

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Federal Witness Protection Program Began In 1970.

The modern witness protection program was created to combat organized crime. The US Marshall Service runs the program. It's available for witnesses in Federal Cases.

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash
Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash
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What does that mean if you live in Minnesota?

If you are a witness to a federal case, then you can ask for protection from the government. An assessment of the threat or potential threat will be conducted by law enforcement. There are other options they may pursue first, like relocating a witness before testimony and issuing restraining orders.

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What are Minnesota Victim Witness rights?

While Minnesota doesn't have its own Witness Protection Program, they do offer rights to witnesses and forms of protection. Tampering with a witness is a crim in Minnesota. Victims don't need to give their addresses in open court.

Witnesses can also be in a secure waiting area while waiting for their court appearance.

Employers can't punish someone for missing work to testify as a witness.

Witnesses can also request law enforcement to withhold their identity from the public.

Photo by Jeremy McGilvrey on Unsplash
Photo by Jeremy McGilvrey on Unsplash
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Some states have their own run Witness Protection Programs, but Minnesota doesn't.

California, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Texas, and Washington, D.C. all have their own witness protection programs for crimes not covered by the federal government.

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