2001-S 573A am
Enacted 07/13/2001

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Introduced By:   Senators Damiani, Polisena, Montalbano, Irons, Tassoni, et al. Date Introduced:   February 14, 2001

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 12-30-1 of the General Laws in Chapter 12-30 entitled "Protection and Supervision of Criminal Witnesses" is hereby amended to read as follows:

12-30-1. Statement of purpose -- The effective prosecution of persons involved in organized criminal activity often requires the development and use of testimony obtained from witnesses who were themselves involved in crime. These witnesses include victims of crime, material witnesses or any person prepared to provide relevant testimony or information to law enforcement officers engaged in an ongoing criminal investigation, or to any court. These witnesses are to be protected from actions wrongfully taken against them, or their family, because of their participation as a witness. The standards set forth in this chapter are intended:

(1) To encourage the cooperation of potential witnesses with law enforcement authorities;

(2) To assure the safety and security of those witnesses;

(3) To provide accountability in the cost and operation of the witness program; and

(4) To protect the community from those with a history of criminal behavior.

SECTION 2. Chapter 12-30 of the General Laws entitled "Protection and Supervision of Criminal Witnesses" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:

12-30-13. Confidentiality of information. -- (a) All personally descriptive information, including, but not limited to, names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, social security numbers, license or identification card numbers, automobile registration numbers, or any other data that may compromise the identity or security of a witness protection program participant, applicant, or former participant or applicant is not subject to disclosure pursuant to section 38-2-1 et seq. of the Rhode Island general laws.

(b) Except as provided for in chapter 30 of title 12 and any superior court rule of criminal procedure, all information regarding the whereabouts of, or expenditures concerning a witness who is participating in witness protection, or whose participation has ended, been terminated, or revoked, by the witness protection review board shall not be released where such release of information would tend to compromise security or endanger witnesses participating in the witness protection program.

(c) All information concerning any meetings of the witness protection review board shall not be subject to disclosure pursuant to section 42-46-1 et seq. of the Rhode Island general laws.

(d) The witness protection review board shall be exempt from the provisions of chapter 37-2 of the general laws in connection with its procurement of any goods, equipment, or services necessary to the implementation of this chapter.

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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