Criteria

The Victim/Witness Protection Review Committee was created within the Violent Crime and Drug Control Council. This committee is responsible for reviewing and approving all requests for reimbursement of Victim/Witness Protection funding.

DEFINITIONS:

1. Victim or witness at risk of harm: This means a victim or witness who, as a result of cooperating in an investigation or prosecution of a serious felony offense, has been subjected to violence or other forms of intimidation, or who is the subject of a substantial threat to commit violence. The term also includes a member of the victim’s or witness’s immediate family.

2. Serious felony offense: This means one of the following offenses, including an attempt, solicitation or conspiracy to commit one of the following offenses: murder, manslaughter, sexual battery, aggravated stalking, aggravated battery, carjacking, home invasion robbery, burglary, arson, robbery, kidnapping, racketeering or trafficking in a controlled substance.

REQUIRMENTS:

The Statewide Prosecutor, State Attorney or any law enforcement officer may identify a victim or witness as at risk of harm. Upon such identification, the Statewide Prosecutor or State Attorney of the jurisdiction over the criminal investigation must be notified.

The Statewide Prosecutor or State Attorney may determine whether an identified victim or witness at risk of harm is critical to a criminal investigation or prosecution. If the victim or witness at risk of harm is deemed critical, the Statewide Prosecutor or the State Attorney may certify that the person(s) receive protective services.

When a victim or witness is certified, a law enforcement agency, in consultation with the certifying Statewide Prosecutor or State Attorney, may provide appropriate protective/relocation services. The services and expenses incurred for such services could be:

a. Salary for law enforcement or security officers involved

b. Cost of equipment rented or leased for specific purposes of providing protective service

c. Cost of equipment purchased for specific purposes of providing protective services

d. Other costs directly incurred by reason of providing protective services

e. Temporary relocation services to include expenses to transport a victim/witness to another location, monthly rental of temporary abode…however, do not claim expenses that would not be regularly incurred by the victim or witness had he or she not been in the protection program.

Protective services may be provided for up to 1 year or until the risk giving rise to the certification has diminished, whichever occurs sooner. If deemed necessary, the Statewide Prosecutor or the State Attorney may re-certify a victim or witness at risk of harm annually for a period of no more than 3 years.