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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 9, 2015.
Witness Security and Protection Grant Program Act of 2015
This bill directs the Department of Justice (DOJ) to award competitive matching grants to state, local, and tribal governments to establish or maintain witness protection programs in cases related to: (1) a homicide, serious violent felony, or serious drug offense; or (2) gangs or organized crime.
DOJ must evaluate grant applications based on certain criteria, including the prevalence of witness intimidation, the presence of organized crime, and the per capita number of homicides, violent felonies, or serious drug offenses.
The bill also requires DOJ to: (1) consider urban and rural applicants and ensure equitable geographic distribution of grant awards; and (2) develop and disseminate best practice models to help state, local, and tribal governments address witness protection and assistance issues.