Report faults handling of sex offenders in witness program -

Report faults handling of sex offenders in witness program

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A watchdog report is faulting the Justice Department for its handling of sex offenders enrolled in the national witness protection program.

The department's inspector general said in a report Wednesday that 10 participants had been convicted of a sex crime before being admitted into the program. Of those, four were granted waivers to registration requirements ordinarily in place for sex offenders.

The program was created in the 1970s, primarily to offer protection and relocation for witnesses in organized-crime cases.

The Justice Department says it has worked to implement the inspector general's recommendations. It says that in the history of the program, "only an extremely small number" of people have been admitted into the witness protection program after having been convicted of a sex offense.

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