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Justice Department Blasted in Report for Handling of Sex Offenders in Protection Program

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has done a poor job protecting the public from sex offenders who are enrolled in the national witness protection program, according to the department’s inspector general.

The Associated Press reports that of the 10 participants who had been convicted of a sex crime, four were not required to register as sex offenders.

“We believe that a waiver of the registration requirement with no alternative procedures in place to monitor these individuals does not strike a balance between the safety of witness and the risk to the public, but instead elevates the security of the witness over the risk to the public,” the report states.

The Justice Department defended its handling of sex offenders in the program and said that no one who received waivers was convicted of a new sex crime.

But the department pledged to make improvements outlined by the inspector general.

“Admitting and relocating witnesses or their family members who were previously convicted of sex offenses mandates an extraordinarily high level of scrutiny,” the department said in a statement, “and it is department policy that sex offenders are presumed ineligible for relocation services. Overcoming that presumption is extremely rare.”


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